There were a couple of new releases in Italy last week. By far the most succesful is Scusa ma ti chiamo amore, another of those romantic comedies that seem to do so well at the box office. The story revolves around Alex (Raoul Bova, who’s a very busy actor at the moment), a young-at-heart chap who falls for a much younger woman (Michela Quattrociocche), and has to deal with the resultant culture clash and the varying reaction of his friends and family. This topped the charts for the weekend, but – as with many of these films – it sounds rather parochial and is unlikely to make it into the international markets. Director Federico Moccia seems to make about a film a decade and specialises in lighthearted fare (see also Palla al centro (1987) and Classe mista 3A (1996)), but he did also write Antonio Climati’s cheesy cannibal flic The Green Inferno in 1988.
The other release is Hotel Meina, directed by a familiar face, Carlo Lizzani (who’s rapidly approaching his 86th birthday!) This is set in 1943, and is about a group of 16 Greek Jews who are kept prisoner in the titular hotel and the attempts of a heroic German woman (Ursula Bushhorn) to save them. Variety was pretty scathing in it’s review and the takings have hardly been phenomenal (c26,500 from 28 screens), but it would be curious to see this given the calibre of the people involved (also worth noting that pasquale Squitieri had a hand in the screenplay, Luis Bacalov supplies the soundtrack and Vittorio Storaro was co-cinematographer).