Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Italian for Beginners (2001)

The Dogma 95 movement has seen some searing looks into the human condition but rarely a romantic comedy -- until now. Veteran Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig spins this deadpan look at a group of lovelorn outsiders living in a grey corner of Copenhagen. After the perennially foul-tempered minister of a local church is fired after doing great injury to the organist, Andreas moves to the area to take over the parish. Staying in a hotel until his predecessor can be wrested from the rectory, Andreas befriends the establishment's scatter-brained manager, Jørgen, who is utterly in love with a beautiful Italian barmaid working at a nearby pub run by Hal-Finn. When the irascible Hal-Finn is chastised by the bar's owner for his unkempt appearance, he goes to a local salon where he meets Karen, a comely hairdresser harried by her grasping mom. Meanwhile, Andreas falls for a lethally klutzy pastry shop assistant named Olympia. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Running Time: 97 mins

Deadpan is not an exaggeration! It is an amazingly small corner when everyone runs into each other on a frequent basis including the Church for funerals.

It uses italics to indicate Italian, but even then many of the jokes do not make sense since we only see the translations and I am afraid that it misses many of the cultural aspects.

So I can not give it more than a 1.5

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