Oh, Checco, you are really something!
Checco Zalone is definately the biggest thing going on in Italian cinema, so how is it that he is so unknown here in the US? His latest, Sole a Catinelle is available on PAL zone 2 DVD from its.it and has English subtitles!
Sole a Catinelle has made over 50 million dollars, a record in Italy, is just as silly as his first two, Cado Dalle Nubi and Che Bella Giornata, and a complete laugh riot for those of us who are not exactly what you’d call “Highbrow” comedy lovers.
This time, Checco is in his 30s, is married, and has a 10 year-old son. Checco plays an eternal optimist, sure of himself and eager to make his mark in the world even with Italy’s bad economy. When he becomes salesman of the year for his company, it looks like the Zalone family will have smooth sailing for the rest of their lives, but of course that wouldn’t be any fun. Things fall apart, Checco’s marriage is in trouble, and all his stuff gets repossessed.
Making his son a promise that he can’t keep seems relatively safe; what are the chances that he’ll have to make good on the pledge that if the boy gets all As (or 10s, in Italy), he’ll get the vacation of his dreams. The boy is underestimated, he comes through with the grades,and Checco is in a pickle. He can’t even afford to keep his house, so how can he pay for this trip?
It’s based on a ridiculous premise, has a wildly unbelievable plot, and is completely predictable; so how come I loved it so much? I just can’t help but love Checco.
Checco is like me in more ways than I care to admit, only funnier. He’s stupid, but he’s willing to learn. He’s enthusiastic to a fault and gets himself into chronic jams because of it. He never stops embarrassing himself but when he realizes what’s happening he has a good laugh at his own expense. He’s warm, and over-bearing, and a very unlikely role model, but he, unlike other “dim-witted” comic characters in movies today, is not mean spirited, and he’s just plain likable, somehow, through it all.
Catinelle a Sole is a bit more mainstream than Checco’s first two films but it is still politically incorrect as all get out, so, be warned.
There’s no denying it: I Love Checco, and can not wait to see what he does next!