The Family Friend (L' Amico di famiglia) (2006) (Italy)

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The Family Friend (L' Amico di famiglia) (2006) (Italy)

Postby hengcs » Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:15 am



The Family Friend (L' Amico di famiglia) (2006) (Italy)

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Giacomo Rizzo, Laura Chiatti

Wow ... this is gonna be one of those movies that is rather divisive ... you either love it or hate it ... It triumphs on its surprisingly stylish scenes, amazing aural appeal, and literally likeable lines (contentious, cryptic, philosophical, and dark) ... Yet, it may fail on three aspects ... its beginning -- honestly, for many who have not read any synopsis (like me), the first 20 minutes or so introduces you to too many characters (confusing?! puzzling?!) and it takes quite a long while before all the characters get linked together ... its ending -- to some extent, many audience can anticipate what is to come ... And finally, rather subjective, some people may feel that he tries too hard in compressing too many things into one film (such that one viewing usually does not suffice) ...

So, why could so many characters emerge? The film basically revolves around the eccentric and maybe repulsive money lender ... Geremia (Giacomo Rizzo) ... who professes and convinces himself that he has a Heart-Of-Gold, addressing the females as "Dear Heart", etc ... How would his life change (if at all) when he finally meets the beauty queen and bride to be (Laura Chiatti) ... Better still, she is the daughter of a couple who are in debt (borrowing money for you guess what?! ... her wedding)

Conclusion:
Dont miss it if you are in for a very divisive film! You either love it or hate it ... Reasons to love -- surprisingly stylish scenes, amazing aural appeal, and literally likeable lines (contentious, cryptic, philosophical, and dark) ... Reasons to hate -- too many characters beginning, predictable ending and maybe, you think the director tries too hard ...
hengcs
 


Re: The Family Friend (L' Amico di famiglia) (2006) (Italy)

Postby trevor826 » Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:38 am

Wow ... this is gonna be one of those movies that is rather divisive ... you either love it or hate it ...

Well I certainly won't disagree with that, though hate is maybe a little extreme. I just thought it was a terribly hackneyed plot which had a few humorous moments and some clever shots.

It felt like the anti-Consequences of Love, badly constructed and edited, a plot full of predictable moments and very one dimensional characters, everything pushed to the max without even the tiniest attempt at subtlety. I could take the randomness of the initial sequence, in fact that was by far the best part of the film but overall, the film lacked the cohesian and smartness of CoL.

Other problems include a cast of totally unlikable characters, the only one I felt for was the girl sunbathing by the tree. The soundtrack which is one thing I wasn't too happy with in CoL was even worse this time, the theme at the start was a strange choice but did fit the demeanor of the film, the rest of it though was totally obtrusive, the dramatic "Elgar's Cello Concerto" thrown in at random moments, and even worse, overlayed with electronic bips and beeps.

Oh .... and I can't forget one of my pet hates, C+W music and line dancing.

Wheras CoL was beautifully paced, edited, performed and intriguing, The Family Friend feels like a clumpy mess strung together by a director trying far, far too hard.

It's strange how things play out, a few days ago I mentioned how few people walk out during screenings in the Chapter LINK, it is after all an arthouse theatre and people generally expect to see challenging and at times, disturbing films. During Battle in Heaven there were no walk outs, during the three hour Into Great Silence (which apparently had around 80% early exits when screened in London), again no walk outs and that can be said for the huge majority of screenings.

The Family Friend had an initial audience of twelve, by the time the credits rolled, four were left, and one of those was an elderly man who needed staff assistance to get into and out of the theatre............... nuff said

Yet another film that hengcs and I will have to agree to disagree on, though it's usually cheesy feelgood films that divide our opinion.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 


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