21 December 2017 | nmegahey
Light, charming, entertaining
Gianni Di Gregorio's films are a bit of an acquired taste, a bit like Woody Allen on Prozac. To some, it might be like watching an embarrassing grandfather trying to be funny and romantic, but there is an undeniable charm to his work and an audience for refreshingly undemanding light-hearted comedies.
In Buoni a Nulla (Good for Nothing), life is getting Gianni down. With just days to go before his retirement, he has his working age extended by three years and is sent to work them inconveniently out of town at his firm's head office. Worse than that, they actually expect him to work and know his way around a spreadsheet, when even turning on a PC is a bit of a challenge. But it's not just work; his ex-wife and family are on his back to move out of his apartment, he's constantly harassed by an old busybody neighbour, and even crossing the road or taking a shortcut down an alley seems to be a frustrating business.
Gianni's.dentist/doctor advises him to take a firmer stand for the good of his health, and all it takes are a few naughty schoolboy pranks and learning when to say no, and Gianni feels so much better. There's even the promise of romance and rumba dancing with Marta, the sister of Marco, a colleague at work. Marco is someone else who could benefit from some 'no' therapy, his good nature exploited by his boss, his co-workers and by the attractive colleague Cinzia, who has a way of passing her work off for Marco to do for her while she has to run to look after his ailing mother.
Following Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto) and The Salt of Life (Gianni e le donne), Buoni a Nulla is the third film in what can loosely be described as the Gianni trilogy. None of Gianni di Gregorio's films are going to set the world alight, but like his character Gianni himself, but at least he's making the effort to try to make things a little bit better.