Remember Me, My Love


Remember Me, My Love Review

Italian Beauty? Even more so than in his previous film, The Last Kiss, Gabriele Muccino's story of despair and decay in an outwardly normal Roman household apes domestic forebears like American Beauty almost too closely. Still, to claim suburban ennui as a distinctly American experience would be hubris at its worst, so let's give Muccino his stab at the genre.

In this outing, all four family members are dropped right in the middle of their respective crises: Dad (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) is rekindling an affair with an old girlfriend (played by Monica Bellucci, who could possibly blame him?), while Mom (Laura Morante) is tentatively dipping a toe into the world of acting. Sis Valentina (Nicoletta Romanoff) is the proto-teen who hates everything and dresses like a whore -- and she's trying to become a dancer on TV... and what good could come of that? Then there's brooding Paolo (Silvio Muccino, Gabriele's kid brother and a regular in his films), who can't score with the girls and seems on the verge of suicide from frame one.

Will something good come out of this? Muccino's got two hours to send his various characters to the top and then back down to rock bottom again. The stories intertwine and weave from one to the next -- and the deft plotting is one of Remember Me's high points, as it keeps things hopping and from devolving into saccharine soap-opera dynamics.

On the minus side, Bentivoglio is a bit of a schlub and just can't carry the role here. It's not that his father figure is weak and spineless, he's simply hard to watch on screen. The other actors are apt and own their parts admirably.

However, my biggest complaint with the film is that Muccino can't get his head out of the gutter -- every single character has sex on his or her mind for the entire film, and whether they're looking for it or not. Why, if people really were exposed to this many come-ons on a daily basis, industries would stop and wars would cease. Just give us something, something beyond the expected "middle aged man's a horn dog" plot line. Please.

The last half-hour is a big letdown, as tragedy strikes and, of course, our family comes back together, all smiles. Everyone gets their wish, in some form, revealing them all to be pretty small-minded and shallow. When your big dream is to be a dancer on a game show, well, you may need a kick in a different direction altogether.

Aka Ricordati di me.

Remember Me, My Love

Facts and Figures

Run time: 125 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th February 2003

Distributed by: Roadside Attractions

Production compaines: Tele+, Fandango, Vice Versa Film, Medusa Film

Reviews 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Carlo Ristuccia, as Giulia Ristuccia, as Alessia, as Valentina Ristuccia