One of the most perfect movies I have every seen in my life, Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch) was written by, directed by, and starring Gianni Di Gregorio, who also helped write the screenplay for Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah.
It’s about an unemployed, middle aged Roman who lives with his 93 -year-old mother and starts babysitting all the other old ladies in his neighborhood while their families are at the beach for the Ferragosto. Each with her own health problems, vices, and bad temperament they bicker, make Gianni crazy, and then they really get to like each other and don’t want to go home. That’s pretty much it.
What? That doesn’t sound interesting? Well, I guess you had to be there because it’s one of the sweetest most charming movies I have ever seen. I don’t know how to explain even to myself why I was hanging on every word of their rather mundane conversations. It isn’t trying to be anything, and any lesson we might learn from it is unintentional. There’s no, “and the moral of this story is that old people are a treasure” or anything like that.
It’s like having a really good day at one of your old relatives’ house. They’re cooking and complaining and cackling like hens and you look over and think, “I really love you guys.” It’s like that.
You just have to see for yourselves.