Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mid-August Lunch

Italian films (like their French and American counter parts) are noted for their beautiful actresses. But Mid-August Lunch breaks that mould. The average age of the four actresses is 88.

The concept of a guy living with his mother into his middle age or later is a distinctly Italian one. Gianni is leaving middle age behind but certainly not leaving home. He has money worries but otherwise tries to lead a simple life. So he is not prepared for the series of events which lead him and his mother to house and feed three other old women for the August holiday of Ferragosto (an Italian holiday that dates back to the Roman Empire). These four old women are no more happy with the situation and each other than Gianni is. They employ all their skills at bitchiness, hautiness, forgetfulness in trying to get their own way, but it is Gianni's eager-to-please attitude and unexpected help from a drinking buddy that smooths the feathers and unexpectedly turns the awkward situation into a happy feast in a hot and almost deserted Rome.

This is a sweet gentle and very watchable comedy. The only nod to more traditional Italian films is a shot of Gianni on his balcony watching a sweet young thing in a summer dress get into a convertable in the street below.

Ian's rating 3.5/5

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