Original title: Immaturi
- 1h 48m
Twenty years ago, while they were 12th grade students, Giorgio, Lorenzo, Piero, Luisa, Virgilio and Francesca were a high-spirited band. Then they graduated, integrated themselves into socie... Read allTwenty years ago, while they were 12th grade students, Giorgio, Lorenzo, Piero, Luisa, Virgilio and Francesca were a high-spirited band. Then they graduated, integrated themselves into society and lost track of one another. One day they receive a letter from the Ministry of Educa... Read allTwenty years ago, while they were 12th grade students, Giorgio, Lorenzo, Piero, Luisa, Virgilio and Francesca were a high-spirited band. Then they graduated, integrated themselves into society and lost track of one another. One day they receive a letter from the Ministry of Education: because of a formal error, they must retake the exam. With the initial shock now pas... Read all
Very good modern-day Italian comedy
No wonder that "Immaturi" has been a big success in Italy. It is one of those fine choral comedies with an edge Italian directors, and especially Ettore Scola, had made their specialty of ("Ugly, Dirty and Bad"; The Terrace"). Sure, "Immaturi" does not quite keep up with the two movies mentioned, but it constitutes an exciting renewal of the genre with dialogues, characters and situations in keeping with Italy (and by extension, the western world) as it is today. First things first, the starting point is really amusing. Writer- director Paolo Genovese indeed imagines that, due to a technical error, the final year exam results of a group of forty year olds have been canceled. If the persons in question want to retain a secondary school degree, they will have to retake and ... to pass the finals again! This is how Giorgio, Lorenzo, Piero, Luisa, Virgilio and Francesca, who used to be friends twenty-odd years before, are reunited. Once the initial shock is past, they decide to prepare for the test together. Of course they have changed : they now have jobs (radio host, chef, psychiatrist, product manager, estate agent) and naturally time has passed and has given them life companions, children, new friends, lovers... So the point is: will the re-formed gang survive this unprecedented situation? Naturally a good premise does not necessarily mean a good film. It all depends on the way the subject is dealt with. And in this case, happily, not only is does the script live up to expectations but the film as a whole proves a winner in all categories. Well-written, "Immaturi" contains more than one witty line, many of which could appear in IMDb's "memorable quotes" section! What is more, the pace of the movie is so swift and the editing so effective that there is never a dull moment during the 108 minutes of its running time. And as if this were not enough, you will be amazed by its incredible number of finds of all kinds (too numerous to be cited here, but the use of split screen in a comedy, unexpected as it is, is to be noted though). Viewers are surely not left to sit back in their seats but are constantly stimulated by Paolo Genovese's never-failing inventiveness. The acting - and this is another important aspect to be successful with a choral film - is just excellent. A united company of competent performers, full of self-derisive charm, in which no one looks after number one, carry the day. My own favorite (but don't repeat it to the others, for they are all very good!), is Ricky Memphis, priceless as a new "Tanguy" (Eric Berger in Etienne Chatiliez's 2001 eponymous film), still unable to leave home, where at 40, he is still pampered by his mamma (Giovanna Ralli, what a career!). Lovable Memphis does the job really delightfully. But what definitely makes "Immaturi" a superior comedy (not a masterpiece since it lacks the tragic dimension pervading "Ugly, Dirty and Bad" and The Terrace") is the delicate balance Genovese manages to find and to maintain between fun on the one hand (most often emanating from the characters' "unbearable lightness") and emotion on the other (as the protagonists muddle toward maturity). To say nothing of its sociological value (the difficulties and insecurities linked to being a responsible adult in today's Italy and their corollaries: prolonged adolescence, working mothers, having a baby at forty, divorce, ...). "Immaturi" is another proof that, despite what doom-sayers keep claiming, transalpine cinema is kicking and alive. If you want to see a modern comedy with that inimitable Italian touch, feel free to watch it: you will not be let down.
- Feb 6, 2012
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