The random accidents and incidents that shape individual destinies provide the structure and rationale for this slight, likeable film. Director, writer, and star Maurizio Nichetti is best known for his 1989 send-up of neo-realism, THE ICICLE THIEF; STEFANO QUANTESTORIE is not as formally
audacious as the earlier film, but it has some of the same loopy charm.
Stefano (Nichetti) is a pleasant young man at a turning point; his life could take any of six different directions, each of which is explored in turn. Chiara (Amanda Sandrelli), a toymaker, tells some children a fairy tale that never quite gets going. After they leave, she tunes in a radio
report of a recent bank robbery in Milan; the police announce that they have discovered a photograph of a woman who may be one of the robbers. Stefano, who appears as a cop, falls in love with the face, and insists that she looks too sweet to be a criminal. Inevitably, he encounters the woman from
the photograph: it's Chiara. He goes to her shop and spends a month's salary on toys. Later, when his mother chides him for remaining a bachelor, he muses on how different his life would be had he married Constanza (Caterina Sylos Labini), a shrewish woman who is also an expert cook. The following
story shows Stefano as a hen-pecked husband, an accountant who silences his wife by wearing ear-plugs.
In the remaining episodes, each of which hinges on a crucial life decision that didn't seem so important at the time, Stefano is seen as an airline pilot, a saxophonist, a mathematics professor, and one of the team of bank robbers. Here, as elsewhere, the hero's various manifestations
intersect--Stefano the saxophonist is briefly held hostage by Stefano the criminal, just as the pilot-Stefano attempts to seduce a stewardess, Angela (Elena Sofia Ricci), who happens to be married to the professor-Stefano. The various plot threads are neatly resolved at the film's close, and fans
of the reflexive THE ICICLE THIEF may be disappointed to discover that Stefano-as-filmmaker never makes an appearance. (Adult situations.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: The random accidents and incidents that shape individual destinies provide the structure and rationale for this slight, likeable film. Director, writer, and star Maurizio Nichetti is best known for his 1989 send-up of neo-realism, THE ICICLE THIEF; STEFANO… (more)