Posts tagged ‘comedy’


Posti In Piedi In Paradiso, Standing Room In Paradise

by Marianne Wi

So much is going on in the streets of Rome at the moment that Carlo Verdone has taken to the Studios of Cinecittà, where he has started shooting his new film “Posti In Piedi In Paradiso”, “Standing Room In Paradise” (possible English Title) it is a comedy as always when Verdone gets involved, it will be shot over the next 10 weeks in Rome, Cinecittà Studios and Paris. Posti In Piedi In Paradiso has one of my favorite Italian actors starring in it namely Pierfrancesco Favino always a delight to watch, Marco Gialli you might remember him from La Bellezza del somaro, Love and Slaps directed by Sergio Castellitto, he has great comic timing as has the actress Micaela Ramazzotti, a great Italian actress, starring too will be Verdone himself who apart from directing also co-wrote the screenplay, will be a good payday for some when this film is released in 2012.  Other cast members have been announced, they are Diane Fleri, Nicoletta Romanoff, Valentina D’Agostino, Nadir Caselli, Maria Luisa De Cresceno and Giulia Greco. The film revolves around three separated men and their economic and emotional instability, they decide to share a flat to save money and support each other through thick and thin…….. I am laughing already.


Se sei cosi ti dico si, If You are like That, I say Yes (poss. English title)

by Marianne Wi

There are no reason to believe this film will get any International interest, however I have said that before and found that the film went on to have great success at International Film Festivals.

Director : Eugenio Cappuccio has acted, written screenplays and already directed a number of films : Volevo solo dormirele addosso 2004  shown in San Francisco in 2005, there are no sign of an English title though and I think “I only wanted to sleep on top of her” directly translated sounds like an unlikely title – Uno su due , One Out of  Two 2007 .

Cast : Emilio Solfrizzi, Belen Rodriquez, Iaia Forte, Roberto de Francesco, Toto Onis, Salvatore Marino, Pinuccio Sinisi, Eleonora Albrecht, Manuele Morabito, Francesca Faiella, Azzurra Martino

Synobsis :  Lets set the scene then for this light comedy, we find Piero Cicala (Emilio Solfrizzi) who was a one hit wonder in the 80s with the song  “Io, te e il mare ” ” Me you and the Sea” , it sold millions and he had a tasted fame. Cicala lives in a small village in Puglia and spends his time as a waiter in a restaurant named King Octopus owned by his now ex-wife Marta (Iaia Forte), often hanging out with his close friend Gianni (Toto Onnis) a Barber who was a musician, now often found speaking to the octopus, odd I think you will agree but we all remember the very clever Spanish Octopus Paul, who correctly predicted the results of 7 World Cup Football matches last year, so who are we to snicker.

Out of the blue arrive Emissario (Fabrizio Buompastore) with a proposal to participate in a TV show called “The Best Years”  at first reluctant, should he or should he not ? Cicala relents in the end lured by the smell of fame and the prommise of a visit to Rome entices him into action. In the Hotel Cicala meets the world famous Cortes Talita (Belen Rodreques) who is in Rome launching a new product, the eyes of the world is on her and for reasons not known her eyes are on Cicala, well perhaps too many alcoholic drinks was to blame.

Talita declares to the world press that Cicala is her new boyfriend and they take off in a private jet heading to the US of A, where his singing unlike at home is greeted with great enthusiasm.

The film is very well shot, worth watching just for that reason alone and it is a nice enough watch on a rainy afternoon, Belen; I wish to God her forehead would move so that her painted on eyebrows looked less fake, we need a law banning Botox and acting ever being shown on the same screen.


Nessuno mi può giudicare, No One Can Judge Me (possible English Title)

by Marianne Wi

Sometimes a rainy afternoon in Catania can turn all sunny and warm, I had no plans to write about this romcom and no real urge to see it either but it was raining and I was cold…….What a pleasant surprise it was, nearly shed a tear too or was it just dust in the air?

Director : Massimiliano Bruno it is his first feature film as a director, you might know him from “Notte prima delle esami”, “The Night Before the Exams Today” a big box office success here in Italy and it hit some International Film Festivals too, Bruno did part of the screenplay for that. Worth noting that Nessuno mi puo giudicare, No One Can Judge Me took 3 million Euro in its first week here in Italy, well it is a comedy so I should not really be taken aback.

Cast :   Paola Cortellesi, Raoul Bova, Rocco Papaleo, Anna Foglietta, Giovanni Bruno, Hassani Shapi, Valerio Aprea, Pasquale Petrolo, Lucia Ocone,  Awa Ly

Best moment : Filippo (Giovanni Bruno) sitting on a table at night singing a love song sniffle sniffle.

Synopsis : Rich Italian family with a big house, swimming pool and servants in Parioli a posh part of Rome, enjoy a superficial life style that ends abruptly, when the husband is knocked down while driving his Vespa after seeing his mistress, leaving behind a mountain of debts.
Alice (Paola Cortellesi) must sell the house and find a new place for her and her son to live, enters the servant Aziz who finds cheap lodgings on top of a building in Quarticciolo a down-market area of Rome. Alice’s paths cross with Giulio’s (Raul Bova) outside the family home and later in his Internet Cafe and a romance is born, you need one to call it a romcon.
Alice needs to make money fast to pay of the husbands debts to keep her son. What better way than “The Worlds Oldest Profession”  an Escort, all in the best possible taste I might add as this is a family film.
There are no twists or turns, just a really well made film with no surprises,……. actually Fausto Leali appearing suddenly singing in the Internet cafe was a highlight and a surprise. There was a spring to my step when I left The Alfieri this evening.

Manuale d’amore 3, 3 Stages of Love (Manual of Love 3)

by Marianne Wi

I love the trailer, they have included all the really funny moments, no need to leave the comfort of your own home to see the film.

It has been hyped here in Italy as the “Comedy of the year” and much fuss has been made over it. It was released Friday and I am still trying to muster some enthusiasm and blog a few lines ….. I loved Manaule D’amore, Manual of Love when it came out in 2005, it was funny, great actors, believable story lines and the music was fabulous too, I can hum the tune for you right now. On the odd occasion I still find myself reaching for the DVD on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon.

Manuale d’amore 2, Manual of Love 2 came and went I cannot actually remember anything about it not a single frame comes to mind.

Manuale d’amore 3, Manual of Love 3, is as Italian comedies go not a bad movie, I was just bored and would have hot footed it out of there at the interval had they not left Robert de Niro until last, one nill to the clever producer.

Director:   Giovanni Veronesi a prolific Director and screenwriter.Manuale d’amore 1, 2 and 3 together with Me and Marilyn, Italians and Parents and their children.

Cast : Robert de Niro, Monica Bellucci, Riccardo Scamarcio, Michele Placido, Laura Chiatti,Valeria Solarino, Donnatella Finocchiaro, Carlo Verdone, Daniele Pecci,Vincenzo Alfieri

Synobsis : The film has 3 acts ……….

Youth : Riccardo Scamarcio  and Laura Chiatti story…. he goes up north on a business trip, has an affair with another woman (lets not confuse this with Mine Vaganti,Loose Cannons, that would be wrong) usual story, usual mediocre acting from both of them, I am sure I have seen this story many times before with both actors in it too.

Maturity : Carlo Verdone has great comic timing and the sexy Donatella Finocchiaro is equally funny, great acting  from both of them. Carlo Verdone plays a self-absorbed Ankerman, she plays a professional stalker, not believable and too much silliness packed into one short story, it had the potential  of being the best story of the tree acts.

Late middleage : Robert de Niro speaking Italian throughout (sounded great actually, top marks to him for trying) falls in love with the daughter of a Porter in Rome. Enter Monica Berluccio , God love her ,  a sad sight to see the once so beautiful actress Botoxed to point of freeze frame, STOP it is all I want to say to this lady, she plays a stripper , not quite the story of  An Officer and a Gentleman though, it was just another predictable  story, end of !

I am going off in search of a Drama or a Thriller now…… Ohhh yes, there must be one out there somewhere.


Gianni e le donne, The salt of life

by Marianne Wi

Ah, finally a comedy that does not make you want to run for the hills or rather escape into the chaos that is Catania on a Saturday night. If you loved Pranzo di farragosto, Mid August Lunch you will love this  feel good comedy, brilliantly directed by Gianni Di Gregorio ,who play the part of Gianni with that same ease and flair as he did  Gianni in Mid August Lunch. Valeria De Franciscis has returned to play his mother although in a different role all together, they really are an awesome combination.

Director : Gianni Di Gregorio, is known for his many screenplays and have only recently been seen on-screen himself. He was involved with Roberto Saviano in writing the screenplay for Gomorra , he wrote the screenplays, directed and also starred in  Mid August Lunch and The salt of life.

Best Moment : Any scenes with his mother are good moments, the relationship between the two is fabulous. Yoga scene, I know I am going to have a try tomorrow morning myself in front of the Faglioni.

Trailer : Yes I have added the trailer to this blog, it does not do this film justice in fact it makes it look like just another lightweight and mindless Italian comedy, trust me this film is much more than that. May the editor of this video be made to do penance for many hours.

Poster : Just ignore it is my advise !

Synopsis : Gianni a 60-year-old retired Roman, lives with his wife, daughter and her unemployed very lazy boyfriend in a  flat in Rome. Gianni has only recently retired and find himself helping his demanding mother, who lives on the other side of Rome, walking the neighbours dogs, doing odd jobs for anyone who asks, including taking orders from his wife.

One day Gianni’s friend Alfonso, boast about a recent sexual encounter and Gianni’s world begin to change as he realise that he is the only one without a bit on the side, even the old chap in the track suit at the Bar is at it; Gianni set about changing his life .

The scenes that follows are touching with great comic timing, it is hard not to love this wonderful warm often confused man (It helps not being married to Gianni) his dreams however strongly wished for, remain just that…. dreams, as we all know they do not always reach fulfilment. Gianni never let us lose the sense of familiar intimacy  during the film  a big factor in making  this and Mid August Lunch such a great success not only in Italy, it  is still appearing in Film Festivals around the world.


Manuale D’amore 3, The Manual of Love 3

by Marianne Wi

Giovanni Veronesi’s 3 offering from his Manual of Love series. I am looking forward to the release of this one, as it will have Robert De Niro playing an American Collage Proffesor living in Rome , needless to say there will be love, there has to be it is in the title. De Niro will be speaking Italian troughout and I have it on good autority that no voiceover will be used, what you hear is De Niro .

It will be released in Italy on the 25th February 2011. Loving the Trailer already.


La bellezza del somaro, Love and Slaps

by Marianne Wi

Director : Sergio Castellitto, is a prolific director, actor and very well know in his native Italy, he has also had great success in the rest of the world, I am sure this film will make it onto the International Film Festival Scene. Castillitto has produced and/or acted in the following films among others: L’uomo delle stelle, The Star Maker, Caterina va in cita, Catarina goes to town, Non ti muovere, Don’t move, Il regista di matrimoni, The Wedding Director, Italians, Tris di donne & abiti nuziali, Bets & Wedding Dresses, Alza la testa, Raise Your Head. There are many more the above have been shown abroad and are all out on DVD.

Cast : Erika Blanc, Barbara Bobulova, Sergio Castellitto, Marco Giallini, Emmanuela Grimalda, Gianfelice Imarato, Enzo Jannacci, Renato Marchetti, Laura Morante.

Best Moment : Every scene with the Ass was a joy.

Worst Moment:  The realisation that the only protagonist in this film not having a relationship was the Ass.

Humour does not travel well from country to country, I avoid when possible all the cruise ship comedies together will all the Santa films flooding the Italian cinemas at Xmas, they never make it onto the international scene and rightly so they are not funny unless you are Italian. The Beauty of the Ass is one such film, I saw it as I hold Castellitto in high regard and there were little else in the cinema over the festive period. It was the most “silly” film I have seen in 2010, I was often having to cover my face in despair as one Italian candidature after another was played out in front of the audience, that said 3 ladies sitting behind me declared it the best film in 2010 , not knowing how many they have seen this may be irrelevant , however they positively loved it. Humour is a very very personal thing.

Synopsis: (SPOILER ALERT)  A bourgeois  Italian family living in Rome with their 2 children are going through a crises, the parents are middle age open-minded intellectuals or are they ?. The family sets off to Tuscany for a holiday with a group of old friends, where they are introduced to Amando and his Bonsai-tree, their daughters new love interest. There are every comedy scene from every Italian comedy you have ever seen forced into the next 107 minutes. There are some great acting and some funny scenes however too much all in one, a great opportunity to tackle the old Lolita subject in a thought provoking manner was missed by turning every shot into comedy. The film could only end in one way of course much to the relief of the paying public, when it was reveled that no sex nay a kiss between the two had taken place.

I do think it will show up at an International Film Festival apart for Castellitto himself  Barbara Bobulova and Laura Morante are all well know outside Italy.  A very small glass of Chianti would perhaps make this film easier to watch or as part of a cultural exchange learning about Italian humour.


Manuale d’amore 3 , Manuel of Love 3

by Marianne Wi

So looking forward to this film directed by Giovanni Veronesi being released early February 2011. This 3rd serving from the Manual of love, romance, comedy and hilarity will include the following actors :Robert de Niro, Monica Bellucci, Laura Chiatti and yes you guessed it Ricardo Scamarcio , those two never seem to be too far apart ,also the loveable Carlo Verdone, who played the unforgettable Goffredo in Manuel of Love 1, Donatella Finocchiaro, Valeria Solarino and Emanuele Propizio have also got parts. Great Cast and I understand that Robert de Niro will play his role speaking Italian through out , a challenging adventure for an American speaking actor.

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