At the risk of alienating Italians that read this blog I have to say it: I loved Fabio Volo’s Il Giorno In Più. I’m in the minority, clearly, reading the reviews from critics and the public alike in Italy. I concede the right to disagree, but I am baffled by the Italian reviewer who likened the “unpleasant” dialogue to one about concentration camps. Italians, help me out here; how are we so different in our expectations for a good romantic comedy?
Il Giorno In Più, or as I’d translate, the extra day, is based on a book written by Fabio Volo, who went on to star in this movie and write the screenplay with Aldo Giovanni and Giacomo director Massimo Venier. Volo plays, Giocomo, a 40-year-old serial dater who becomes infatuated with a woman he sees on the tram every day, Michela, played by Isabella Ragonese. It’s only available in PAL/Zone 2 DVD form and there are no English subtitles so virtually no one will see this movie here in America, but I bring it up for one reason: Italians and I most definitely have a different idea about what makes a good rom-com.
While some in Italy complained of a “Hollywood formula”, a Hollywood formula works great with rom-coms if it has nice looking, accomplished actors ( Il Giorno In Più surely has that ), witty, smart dialogue (and it has that), and chemistry between the protagonists (yes, it does). I liked Michela and Giacomo, wanted to see them together, felt their pain when they were apart, and the ending made me feel all warm and fuzzy romantic.
The premise was ridiculous, plausible, and fanciful all at once, all things I like in a good love story. A man flies 2000 miles to pursue a woman he hardly knows and she, instead of calling the cops to have him arrested for stalking gives him a chance. It isn’t far-fetched, because through the ridiculous and fanciful there are genuine emotions and a believable attraction between Michela and Giacomo.
If you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it, and I’m not going to waste your time convincing you that something that you hated was, in fact, very good, but it really was, very good, by rom-com standards. I don’t expect every romantic movie to be Anna Karenina.
Tell me, please, Italians; what is it that you want in a romantic comedy?
Il Giorno In Più (2010)
Director: Massimo Venier
Writers: Massimo Venier, Fabio Volo
Stars: Fabio Volo, Isabella Ragonese, Pietro Ragusa, Roberto Basilico and Valeria Bilello