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Preview: Afs Selects 'The Salt of Life' Opening Friday

In The Salt of Life (with an Italian title better translated as Gianni and the Women), Gianni (Gianni Di Gregorio) is a sweet sadsack of a man, nearing 60 but already "retired" for nearly a decade. He is lonely but not alone, since he has a lovely wife, college-age daughter, concerned friend Alfonso (Alfonso Santagata), a sweet dog, and a nonagenarian mother. But it is the latter, played by Valeria de Franciscis, whose imperious manner and spendthrift ways are increasing the size of the Gucci bags drooping under Gianni's tired eyes.

If she has any "problem," large or small, Mama calls her only child and complains that she isn't feeling well and that he must come over right away. Once he arrives at her beautiful estate with a lush garden and rooms full of valuable art, Gianni quickly discovers that she simply needs champagne and sandwiches served to her ancient friends playing poker.

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