I saw Marina Spada’s ‘Il Mio Domani’ starring Claudia Gernini in New York last June at the Italian film festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema.
I saw it. Really I did. But I didn’t remember anything about it. I had a feeling that wasn’t a good thing.
I watched it again this morning and a) found things to like about it and I b) clarified why this movie is not so memorable. Il Mio Domani is like a beautiful, complicated painting with plenty to study and meaning behind every shadow. It’s quiet, it’s poetic, and it allows us to really feel what the character is feeling; It’s a snapshot, but not a story. Marina Spada failed despite an admirable effort because she fell victim to the typical Italian filmmaker’s mistake: she made a movie in which nothing much happens.
In Il Mio Domani Gerini plays Monica, an unmarried, successful business woman with an empty life. She spends her weekends on her father’s farm while her lover, Vittorio, her married boss, is home with his wife. The evenings that Vittorio can get away and spend time with Monica, it’s really all just sex and work talk. Though Monica seems helpless to change her situation, she is obviously not very fulfilled. People either reach out to her and she doesn’t seem interested or the relationships that she desires don’t work out. Her tomorrow is going to have to depend on her.
So, to recap, Monica, the stereotypical other woman, dedicates her life to her work and married boss and her existence is wanting. There’s something there, but Spada doesn’t tell us what it is. Even in the worst Hollywood movie there’s a well-defined beginning, middle, and end. Even the most horrifying Adam Sandler movie begins with a situation, shows conflict in the situation, and then the situation is resolved.
Il Mio Domani’s conflict resolution is just too weak and too much of a cliché. “It’s not bad for a low-budget movie” is not good enough anymore for Italian filmmakers. They very clearly have to stop making those self-indulgent movies that nobody goes to and nobody wants to see.
Il Mio Domani is available for PAL Region 2 DVD players and with English subtitles.