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L’estate addosso (Summertime) Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)


L’estate addosso (Summertime) Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

Title: L’estate addosso (Summertime)

Director: Gabriele Muccino

Starring: Brando Pacitto, Matilda Lutz, Taylor Frey, Joseph Haro.

Gabriele Muccino began his conquest of America through Will Smith’s support who wanted him to direct both ‘In Pursuit of Happyness’ and ‘Seven Pounds.’ Muccino’s star and stripes adventure continued directing actors of the calibre of Gerard Butler, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid and Jessica Biel (‘Playing For Keeps’), as well as Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried (‘Fathers and Daughters’). In his latest film Muccino tries to go indie bringing Italy and the USA together…but the outcome is disastrous.

The coming-of-age story of two adolescents, the naive Marco (Brando Pacitto) and the bigot Maria (Matilda Lutz), kicks off with the summer holidays. They both head off to San Francisco to meet their Italian friend Vulcano (but they will never encounter him for mere script deficiency). He puts them in touch with Matt (Taylor Frey) and Paul (Joey Haro), a gay couple who will make them spend an unforgettable summer.

‘L’estate addosso’ (Summertime) is drenched with cliches and inexplicable directorial choices. The idea of a multilingual film would be fascinating, were it not for the fact the characters switch from Italian to American completely out of the blue. Just as out of context are the tedious voiceovers by Marco, when he recalls the Californian-Cuban trip with his three friends, or by Matt & Paul when they tell the story of how their romance blossomed.  The attempt to give a snapshot of homophobic Louisiana once again could have been a social commentary. But in the film it only seems to have the purpose of changing the conservative ideas of uptight Maria.

Every single incident, each sentimental twist and all existential transformations are utterly painted-by-numbers. The magic of the road trip genre is completely wasted in a piteously performed flick. This a cinematic journey you do not want to take.

Technical: C+

Acting: C

Story: F

Overall: F

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

L’estate addosso (Summertime) Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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