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.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi