In honor of Genovese’s newest, Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) at the Tribeca Film Festival
oh yes, I did.
With an out-of town husband and no place to be all day long, I made a giant pot of coffee and stacked up a day of Paolo Genovese-o-rama. I never got out of my pajamas all day. I started with Tutta Colpa di Freud.
Stars: Marco Giallini, Vittoria Puccini, Anna Foglietta, Alessandro Gassman, Claudia Gerini and Vinicio Marchioni (2014)
Genovese has said, “It is difficult to write original stories nowadays. Everything has already been done… I concentrate therefore on the shaping of the characters, with diverse view points and an unexpected finale.”
And this is exactly what he’s done with Tutta Colpa Di Freud.
Marco Giallini plays Francesco Taramelli, a psychiatrist with three daughters in the middle of three difficult and very different romantic complications. One is a lesbian who decides she’d like to try playing for the other team, another, a bookstore owner who can’t seem to make the transition from fiction to nonfiction, and the youngest is the 18-year-old high school student with a 50 year-old (and married) boyfriend (Alessandro Gassman). The sisters grew up without their mother, and the bond between them and their father is strong, and very sweet.
The film isn’t laugh out loud funny, but it is sincere and the relationships authentic. The dialogue seems very natural, particularly with the sisters, and all things considered, it’s a really nice romantic comedy that’s not at all predictable and very satisfying.
After Tutta Colpa Di Freud I took a short break to talk to throw some laundry in the washing machine and call my daughter to tell her some really good gossip. Then I popped in an old favorite, Una Famiglia Perfetta.
Stars: Sergio Castellitto, Marco Giallini, Claudia Gerini and Carolina Crescentini (2012)
Genovese’s Una Famiglia Perfetta is a fun Christmas movie in which “Papà”, Leone, played by Sergio Castellitto, tells the youngest son that he is fat, hates his glasses, and he says he doesn’t understand why he has to spend Christmas with a son who is so fat and ugly.
From scene number one I was horrified/mesmerized.
Leone, though abusive, was not an abusive parent, but rather an abusive employer. The wealthy and mysterious Leone had hired everybody in the house to play parts, pretending to be his “perfect family” for the holidays. A beautiful wife (Claudia Gerini), a loving mother and brother (Marco Giallini), and three (three and a half, or four, depending on how you look at it) children doted on Leone and were paid to do it.
After Una Famiglia Perfetta, I made another pot of coffee, read some depressing stuff in the New York Times about the presidential election, and then, it was on to three and a half hours of Immaturi (The Immature), and Immaturi, Il Viaggio.
Stars: Raoul Bova, Barbora Bobulova, Ambra Angiolini, Luca Bizzarri and Ricky Memphis
The first, Immaturi, is about a group of old high school pays who find out they never really graduated from high school and have to retake final exams. Honestly, the Immaturi films are not my favorites, but let’s find the good in them.
1) Raoul Bova. (No explanation necessary)
2) The characters were all pretty likable and I found myself rooting for their success, predictable as it may have been. I could tell that there wasn’t going to be any tragedies in the end, but I was still happy, happy, happy ( you’ll get why I said that if you see the movie) when things turned out the way I wanted them to.
3) I feel that if this had been a Hollywood movie they might have done something extra stupid like make the characters actually go back to high school, with pep rallies and bullies and cafeteria lunches. These guys just had to pass a test and they reconnected to study for it.
4) Except for when the little kids were talking, the dialogue was pretty real; the characters seemed like real friends with real problems, and the acting was good.
5) Despite the contrivance of the high school graduation mix-up, there’s a bit of saving grace in watching the characters need to backtrack and take a look at their lives. I think it’s true – we put ourselves on automatic pilot and sometimes it takes a bit of a crash to get ourselves back on the right course.
After all day on the couch I decided that I needed a shower. (And to get off the couch and walk around for awhile; my legs were falling asleep). So I played with my cat on the deck for a while and made a few calls (more gossiping).
At 7:00 I decided to make myself some dinner while I watched my very favorite Paolo Genovese film, La Banda Dei Babbi Natale (The Santa Claus Gang).
Stars: Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo, and Angela Finocchiaro
For me, La Banda Dei Babbi Natale is already a Christmas classic and I watch it every year right along with Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas. The iconic comedy threesome, Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo play three friends who are mistaken for three other guys who are burglarizing homes wearing Santa Claus suits. They end up in a police station on Christmas eve with Angela Finocchiaro, who plays the police inspector, and have to explain to her the events that have brought them there and why they are innocent.
Don’t miss Paolo Genovese’s newest, Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers) at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. CLICK HERE FOR THEATERS, DATES, AND TIMES.