Croce e delizia [An Almost Ordinary Summer] (2019)

Croce e delizia
Director: Simone Godano
Writer: Giulia Louise Steigerwalt
Cast: Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Alessandro Gassmann, Jasmine Trinca, Filippo Scicchitano, Lunetta Savino, Anna Galiena, Rosa Diletta Rossi, Clara Ponsot, Giandomenico Cupaiuolo
Seen on: 3.8.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) homomisia

Despite being from very different social backgrounds, fish monger Carlo (Alessandro Gassmann) and bon vivant Tony (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) fell in love. Now they just have to tell their families who don’t even know that they are into men in the first place. Carlo’s son Sandro (Filippo Scicchitano) struggles with his own homomisia and wonders whether his father ever loved his mother, while Tony’s daughters Penelope (Jasmine Trinca) and Olivia (Clara Ponsot) seem more accepting at first. But Penelope in particular finds that she cannot let her father marry a man and conspires with Sandro to break the two of them up.

Croce e delizia is the cinematic equivalent of a beach read: it’s light, a little shallow and an entertaining way to pass the time that probably won’t have a deep impact on anyone beyond that. I had fun with it.

The film poster showing headshots of Carlo (Alessandro Gassmann), Penelope (Jasmine Trinca) and Tony (Fabrizio Bentivoglio).

Not to contradict myself – because the film is definitely very light – but I was surprised that the film takes on a lot in its playful way. There is not only the homomisia that Sandro shows explicitely, and other characters in a more subtle way, but also class issues. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the class difference between Carlo and Tony is the bigger issue here than their sexual orientation, which I found nice. The film doesn’t delve very deep into any of the issues and often remains more tropey than insightful, but I appreciated the attempt.

Where the film actually digs down a little, is with Penelope and her relationship with her father, and then Carlo. I found this particular plot thread honestly engaging and touching. Another thing I didn’t expect from the film, to focus on her so much.

Carlo (Alessandro Gassmann) and Tony (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) dancing together.

That the film focuses on two older men falling in love was a very nice touch – we really don’t see that very often. That they are both bisexual (probably) is also pretty great – it would have been even nicer if the film had managed to state this a little more openly.

Above all, the film wants to entertain. With a soundtrack filled with current pop music, beautiful scenery and its fast pacing, it will transport you to a beach holiday for a little while. And really, even if there is not much more to it, that is a lot already – especially in a summer where traveling is as difficult as this year.

Tony (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) trying to calm Carlo (Alessandro Gassmann).

Summarizing: Cute.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.