29 May 2010 | druid333-2
Gianni is a man entering the later years of his life. He has no job,no wife,drinks perhaps a bit too much for his own good,but seems to be content in looking after the needs of his somewhat demanding mother. They both live in a flat in the centre of Rome,despite the fact that Gianni hasn't paid the rent in three years. The landlord offers to wave the rent money if Gianni will look after his equally aged mother for the weekend,which Gianni has no choice but to say yes to. Gianni ends up the care taker of a house full of elderly Italian ladies for the weekend (the landlord shows up with not just his mother,but her sister,as well). Add on top of that,his doctor manages to sweet talk Gianni into also looking after his aged mother. Gianni now has to play host,wet nurse & baby sitter,all rolled into one (eccentric behavior,hissy fits & other things figure into it)for four demanding women. All of this makes for a low key,loving homage to family love & respect for the aged. Gianni DiGregorio,screenwriter of the acclaimed Mafia drama,'Gamorra' from a few years back,wears three hats in the gentle comedy/drama,'Pranzo De Ferragosto' (released in most English speaking countries as,'Mid August Lunch' (director/co writer,with Simone Riccardini,as well as acts in the central role as Gianni). Gian Enrico Bianchi is the director of photography of this (mostly)chamber piece,with editing by Marco Spoletini. Most of the cast go by they're own names,with Valeria DeFranciscis,as Gianni's mother,Maria Cali,as Aunt Maria,Grazia Santagata as Grazia,Alfonso Santagata as Alfonso,Marinina Caccoiotti,as Alfonso's mother (yep,you guessed it), Marinina,with Maricello Ottolenghi,as the doctor,and Luigi Marchetti as Gianni's neighbour & friend,Viking. This is a film that will appeal to those who are tired of the usual glut of Hollywood bombast (car chases, explosions,graphic violence and sexual situations,not to mention vulgar language),and want a breezy,Italian comedy/drama that goes down like a nice piece of light,Italian puff pastry,with no ill effects. Not rated by the MPAA,this film serves up little that could offend,outside of much drinking of alcohol,and a bit of smoking. Would possibly bore most under the age of 35.