For those of you too young to remember what a screwball comedy is, look it up! Lasciati Andare is a classic example.
There’s the older, more affluent and educated Elia (Toni Servillo), and the pretty young screwball Claudia (Verónica Echegui) who challenges his masculinity, social status, and general sense of well being, leading him on a merry chase around Rome that changes his life. There’s smart, fast-paced dialogue, the performances are top-notch, and though we knew Toni Servillo could be funny, we’ve never seen him like this.
Directed by Francesco Amato (Cosimo e Nicole), Lasciati Andare is about a Jewish psychoanalyst who lives and works in the Roman ghetto. Though he is separated from his wife Giovanna (Carla Signoris) but they remain close and live next door to each other.
Settled into a stodgy, predictable existence, his comfort level is disrupted when his doctor tells him he’d better get in shape, or else, and so he joins a gym. As Elia struggles to get acclimated to the high-energy world of modern fitness centers, he hires young trainer Claudia to get him up to speed.
Claudia’s life is…complicated…and getting Elia in shape becomes increasingly important as they are running from young thug Ettore (Luca Marinelli), who hid some stolen property and can’t remember where.
Everybody is acting at the top of his game in this film; Servillo does slapstick like an old pro, Verónica Echegui is zany and cute-as-a-button, and Luca Marinelli is, just WOW! Here’s yet another example of the depth and range of his acting ability.
With cinematography by the master, Vladan Radovic, Lasciati Andare a is two big thumbs up example of contemporary Italian comedy.