Sunday, February 20, 2011

Italian for Beginners..............Ciao!

Italian for Beginners

So, given this film's name and the fact that the picture (ignoring the legs) is of Venice, I sat down to watch this movie fully expecting the lilting tones of Italian. I was looking forward to it really.  One minute in and I had to pause.  This was certainly not Italian.  Was it German?  Nope.  Save yourself the trouble of a Google.  It's Danish.  The film is set in a sleepy town in Denmark. And most of the Italian that is spoken, is spoken by, brace yourself, beginners so nothing lilting there either.  Alright, now that that is out of the way, onward and upward.

At the start, I thought this was going to echo Robert Altman as there is a large cast of characters whose lives seemed to touch each other tangentially.  Luckily for me, I was wrong on that count, as I am not really an Altman fan.  In this case, seven lonely people connect in an Italian community course and in the end, find that they are a little less lonely.  It's a pretty slow mover but the characters are folks that you wouldn't mind knowing and there is a big enough emotional pay off at the end to make it worth your while.

Things to know before viewing

1) I think I like the pastor character best.  If you watch, or already have, post who you like best in the comments.

2) There are several scenes in a bakery that really made me want some pastry.

3) This is one of those films that has a hand held camera.  It was kind of annoying in a couple of scenes but I got over it.

What about the kids?

It is rated R and rightly so.  This one is for grown-ups.  As a side note, it really isn't fun to watch a movies with subtitles when you have to read them all aloud anyway.

Currently available on Netflix Instant Viewing and on DVD

3 1/2 Stars- "Liked It"


  1. arg! I hit the wrong button and it slipped me out. Anyway, I saw this movie long enough ago that I don't really remember a lot. I remember liking the "little lost girl" the most though. Don't remember her name, but she was the one who worked in the pastry shop.


  2. Deb- She was my next favorite. You couldn't help but feel bad for her.