Text by Gabriele Niola
In collaboration with Badtaste.it
Photography by Alessio Costantino
Translation by Bianca Baroni
An Italian movie not only reproduces human emotions and stories in which we identify, it also puts on screen the true us, the society we live in and the human beings that surround us, the ones we are and the ones we don’t want to admit we are. We have inevitably more intimate relationship with these movies and we forgive less, because we or our world are their subjects.
So, the feeling is that if L’Estate Addosso (Summertime) had been a Spanish comedy about some guys travelling from Madrid to the States, we would have probably get rid of it as a nice and well-produced movie but nothing more than this. But it’s a movie by Gabriele Muccino, in which the journey starts in Rome to reach San Diego, in which the protagonists are clearly guys of good stock (everyone attended a private high school in English, they all live in Liberty-style buildings) that are looking for the sense of their future life, so the level of tolerance is obviously low. And it happens also because the movie L’Estate Addosso has also dialogues that are little plausible and naïve, hard to imagine as real and that are not evocative at all, as the “fake” screenplay are, artificially rhetoric.
Yet this summer movie that narrates the great literary (and cinematographic) topos of the formative experience approaching adulthood, a trip to another country with the cheerfulness and contrasts of a Vanzina movie (and actually it’s not an insult), together with Muccino’s technical ability, it also has an enviable fluency that a great part of our cinema doesn’t know at all.
L’Estate Addosso is 100% Gabriele Muccino, it lives in the universe of his movies (the accident that makes it all start happens between the protagonist and a Ristuccia, surname of the families of But Forever in My Mind/Come Te Nessuno Mai and Remember Me, My Love/Ricordati di Me) and still has some distinctive features of his Italian movies, as the way in which it moves and makes its protagonists move between the domestic walls, in every room, using doors that close and open as rhythmic and narrative characters, similar to choreographies.
Also, it gives us the proof that Gabriele Muccino struggles to create pure comedies (even though he is the author of many of this kind), his dramatic temper, so powerful and exuberant that seems able to find a drama anywhere. If in the past this characteristic of his gave life to great movies, here creates a distance between a carefree summertime story and the idea of teen movie. It is mature and adult already in the purposes. It was shot half in English, half in Italian, it’s probably addressed to a young audience but it has the look of an adulthood word, told by the point of view of somebody who’s not so young anymore and looks at the youth from above. It is an uncertain movie in many aspects: it seems to be lacking of a potential audience.