About 90 minutes into Giuseppe Piccioni’s Questi Giorni (These Days) I had a thought: There are hardly any guys in this movie. This is pretty girly movie.”
But I hadn’t thought it before that moment, and now, I realize that it’s not at all (girly). For me, the strongest thing about Questi Giorni is that it’s a movie about girls and women, but it’s got no feminist message or “girl power” bias. These girls are just people with things going on in their life, just like anybody else.
Angela (Laura Adriani), Liliana (Maria Roveran), Caterina (Marta Gastini) and Anna (Caterina Le Caselle) are friends that decide to go along with Caterina, who’s moving to Belgrade for a job. This is no “woo-hoo spring break” road trip. They have their moments of fun, but each has a burden weighing heavily on them; nobody really feel like talking about it.
Liliana’s mother, played by Margherita Buy, is a less educated hairdresser, a single mom who’s not quite on top of things around the house, at times being mothered by her bright daughter. I have never seen Buy in a role like this, but I wish I could again sometime soon. A seven time Italian Academy Award winner (more than Sophia Loren) she’s more often cast as the sensible, maybe a little neurotic, but educated woman, not the irresponsible party girl that she is here; and I love it!
Questi Giorni defies definition; it’s not a girl movie, or a road trip movie, or a coming of age movie. There’s nothing particularly predictable in the story; I wasn’t sure how Piccioni would wrap it all up and until the end. The problems that the girls have are problems that people have, all the time in real life, and Piccioni doesn’t try to solve them, judge them, or even make them that big of a deal.
Questi Giorni more about friendship than anything; at least the memory of one.