16 March 2002 | stefano1488
Here is a film that is both unconventional and deeply touching.
The best thing about this film is the absence in it of any clichés. This holds, first of all, for the main gay character, Michele. In Italian films gay characters tend to be described in extremely stereotyped ways; in other films, such as "Philadelphia", there are gay characters that tend to be described as if they were sort of saints. In this case, instead, the main gay character is a complex man, with contrasting aspects; the tension between his love for someone he will never be able to fully share his love with and his inability to requite the affection of those who could; the tension between his attraction for the widow of his late lover, in whom he finds an echo of aspects he loved in him, and the hatred he feels for his rival; the bitterness for the love lost and the willingness to engage in fast sex; all makes this character a fascinating one.
Even more so for the main female character. For once Margherita Buy plays a different character from the neurotic, insecure women she has often played in the past, and is given a wonderful opportunity to show her dramatic skills. She's hurt and yet not bitter, she's open-minded and yet has a morality of her own, she's curious and yet not intrusive; she plays a thoughtful, sensitive, tender and deeply human character, for whom one can feel nothing but sympathy.
Many foreigners seem to especially like films which depict Italy and Italians in strongly conventional ways, such as "Mediterraneo", "Life is Beautiful" or "Cinema Paradiso": a rural country, populated by childish, superficial and sentimental people surrounded by beautiful landscapes, preferably in Tuscany, and artistic beauties. This film, set in a dilapidated district of Rome, will probably make them understand that Italy is a country quite different, in many ways, from the one they like to see represented in some Italian films.