Veteran Italian director Pupi Avati's sweet, charming and entirely forgettable romantic comedy revolves around a shy bachelor's fumbling efforts to please his domineering father by getting married. At the behest the imperious Cesare (Giancarlo Giannini), 35-year-old Nello Balocchi (Neri Marcore) travels from Rome to Bologna to teach Latin at a respected high school. His real mission, however, is to find a wife that he can bring back home and continue the family line. This isn't as easy as it sounds. For one thing, Nello is something of an overgrown adolescent. Awkward, bumbling and perpetually nervous, he has a hard time meeting women and an even harder time keeping them interested after exchanging two words with them. Fortunately, his roommate in Bologna is lusty barber Domenico (Nino D'Angelo) who is highly skilled at picking up girls. When his first few attempts at matchmaking don't work out, Domenico convinces Nello to come visit his girlfriend's blind sister at a local sanatorium. The sister proves an ill match, but the trip isn't wasted because Nello meets Angela (Vanessa Incontrada), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy doctor, who recently lost her eyesight in an accident. Even though both Angela and her father warn him that Angela has a long history of leading men on, the love-struck Nello can't and won't put her out of his mind. Instead, he becomes her willing slave, helping her get back at her former fiancee and comforting her when her condition becomes too much to bear. But when Angela learns it might be possible to regain her sight, Nello despairs, knowing that if she is cured, she will almost certainly forget all about him. With such a wafer-thin story, the film's appeal lies mainly in its pretty setting and colorful characters. D'Angelo and Giannini turn in strong supporting turns and Incontrada is certainly lovely, if a little wooden. The main problem is Marcore, who is almost too gawky to be believed. Nello is supposed to be a quiet, dorky type, but the actor is so withdrawn at times that he barely registers onscreen. Avati keeps the tone light and airy, which makes the film an entirely pleasant diversion. Just don't expect to still be thinking about it after the credits roll.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: NR
- Review: Veteran Italian director Pupi Avati's sweet, charming and entirely forgettable romantic comedy revolves around a shy bachelor's fumbling efforts to please his domineering father by getting married. At the behest the imperious Cesare (Giancarlo Giannini), 3… (more)