I’m always talking about the ones I love; what about the bad ones? I know that some of you might think of me of a kind of “Italian movie Pollyanna”, unwilling to admit that any of them are not worth seeing. Not true. Not true. I have seen some real stinkers.
And there are a whole lot more that I’ve never even seen, because the bad ones go largely under my radar, never making much of a stir at home or abroad. So this list is not really the worst – just the worst that I’ve seen.
Five of the Worst Italian Movies That I’ve Ever Seen
5. Paolo Virzì is a pretty important director in Italy today. His “La Prima Bella Cosa (The First Beautiful Thing”) was the movie that Italy sent to be considered for the American Academy Awards (it wasn’t nominated). He directed one of my very favorites, “Caterina Va in Città” (Caterina in the Big CIty). But he is also responsible for “Ferie d’Agosto” (August Vacation – 2005) , a true mess of a movie with a bunch of famous stars (Laura Morante, Silvio Orlando, to name a couple). It’s about two inane families full of narcissists and blowhard liberals on summer vacation and none of them ever SHUT UP!
4. I feel a little bad calling “Immaturi” one of the worst movies because it seems like I’ve seen a lot of movies like it with its ensemble cast, implausible premise and silly dialogue. Immaturi is about a group of 30 somethings that were high school friends and because of a clerical error did not really graduate from high school and must retake the exams. I think the reason that I hate it so much is that it was nominated for awards (for one, Paolo Genovese was nominated for best director) and that’s like nominating “Sex in the City” or an Ashton Kutcher movie for best film.
3. I’m sorry, I hated “L’Ultimo Bacio”(The Last Kiss – 2001) . I apologize because many of you liked the story of the asshole who slept with a high school girl because he couldn’t handle the fact that his fiance was pregnant. Mr. Boyfriend of the Year, played by Stefano Accorsi, and his group of useless buddies are an inspiration to jackasses all over the world.
2. Cinepanettone, an Italian Christmas movie, is something that we in America call “so bad it’s good”, but “Natale a New York (Christmas at New York – 2006) comes right back to bad and keeps going. It’s like one of those old-fashioned farces with Doris Day – lots of confusion, infidelity, and contrived but sexy storylines and it’s just plain embarrassing.
1.My least favorite is one that I saw this past February and ironically it was one that I’d been really looking forward to because it’s from Sergio Castellitto. “La Bellezza del Somaro”, or Love and Slaps (2010), as they are calling it here in the US, has everything; a tedious story, unlikeable characters, and pretentious acting. I still want to get on a plane, go to Italy, and kick Castellitto’s ass for making this ridiculous film about a teenager that introduces her parents to her senior citizen boyfriend. Why is it that so many Italian movies about “quirky” friends on vacation together are so absolutely painful to watch?