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Marriage Italian Style (Matrimonio all'italiana) (DVD)

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  • Good acting and solid story
  • Very soap operaish
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      08.06.2014 09:20
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Good acting and solid story"

      Disadvantages

      • "Very soap operaish"

      Italian soap opera at its best

      Cynical and womanising businessman Domenico Soriano (Marcello Mastroianni) meets his match in prostitute Filumena Marturano (Sophia Loren) with whom he has an on-off relationship for several years during World War 2. But when after the war he falls for a younger woman, Filumena (now Domenico's mistress covering as his ailing mother's caretaker of sorts) feigns a fatal illness, wishing that before her death Domenico would marry her. He agrees on grounds that she won't have more than a few hours of life left to her, but once they are hastily married, she drops the ruse, revealing that she's not dying after all and married him because of the one son she bore him of the three she had given birth to in her life (though Domenico never acknowledged having fathered any). Now Filumena, refusing to tell him which of the three is theirs, is forcing him to take responsibility of all three regardless of which one is his in this farcical comedy of manners and Italianite passions. Reasonably entertaining, but ultimately nothing too special, "Matrimonio all'Italiana" ("Marriage Italian Style") was a big success when released in 1964, but today largely remains of interest mostly to fans of Mastroianni and Loren, with solid directing from Vittorio De Sica. The performances of both Loren and Mastroianni are still fine, though, with Loren particularly on top form - authoritative, playful, and very sexy - while Mastroianni is delightfully callous despite being the second romantic lead - though most of the secondary players tend to only reach the level of the unremarkable. Regardless, the movie itself doesn't go much beyond that of soap opera theatrics and is a typical example of De Sica's buffo style of filmmaking at its purest: generally enjoyable, but also fairly superficial. Based on the stage play "Filumena Marturano" by Eduardo De Filippo. (c) berlioz 2014

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