Roma 1943. A hot baker gives his co-worker a strange look and suddenly they’re inexplicably fighting over dough-ridden tables. Cut to the present: After a hostile trip to the supermarket, sexy Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and her even sexier husband Filippo (Filippo Negro, the Stanley to Mezzogiorno’s Stella) bump into an old man who can’t remember his name and decide to bring him into their home. Dissatisfied with her marriage, Giovanna naturally takes a fancy to Lorenzo (Raoul Bova), whose bedroom is in plain view of her kitchen window. (Housewives, Cosmo Girls, and gay men will remember Bova as “the hot guy from Under the Tuscan Sun.”) Once Giovanna and her would-be boy toy come to discover that Davide Veroli (Massimo Girotti) is a Holocaust survivor still longing for his lost Simone (Ivan Bacchi), director Ferzan Ozpetek works overtime to parallel the forbidden love of the past with that of the present. Via wearisome in-camera effects, the past freely interacts with the present, so much so that they become indistinguishable. Hoping his “fairy tale” will get by on the good looks of its actors, Ozpetek uses the love that dare not speak its name as a device to trigger in Giovanna a kind of socio-sexual crisis—a flippant association figuratively reflected in Giovanna and Lorenzo’s windows (ostensibly because a man loving a man in 1940s Italy is the same as a married woman loving a man in the same country some 60 years later). From Giovanna, Davide seemingly learns to transcend the past, but his fag hag is the one who makes out like the bandit. A master baker, Girotti’s Gingerbread Man teaches the shoddy cook the Like Water for Chocolate ropes, but any self-respecting fag would have gone one further and told the conflicted woman, “Will you just fuck Lorenzo already!”
- Sony Pictures Classics
- 106 min
- Ferzan Ozpetek
- Ferzan Ozpetek, Gianni Romoli
- Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Massimo Girotti, Raoul Bova, Filippo Nigro, Serra Yilmaz, Maria Grazia Bon, Massimo Poggio, Ivan Bacchi
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