Sunday, November 13, 2011

CHE BELLA GIORNATA
(WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY)

MovieMov: Italian Cinema Now
Greenbelt 3, Cinema 3



This politically incorrect comedy starts with a voiceover from Checco who recounts his pathetic life. The inept buffoon who works as a bouncer at a local disco applies to be a carabineri (military police officer) for the 3rd time and fails. But through dubious family connections, he gets a job as security detail at the Duomo, Milan's famous cathedral. After several disastrous mishaps, he is assigned to guard the Madonnina, the statue of the Virgin Mary located on the rooftop of the imposingly grand cathedral.

His bottomless stupidity makes him the ultimate prey for Sufien and his sister Farah who plan to bomb the cathedral's famed rooftop. Farah attempts to get into his good graces by pretending to be a love interest. And Checco being a fool falls for her, unbeknownst of her hidden agenda.

Corruption, the church, terrorism and the north-south divide all come in for blunt ribbing in this wacky comedy. Foreign audiences might not quite get the local humor based on numerous Italian stereotypes, especially between the north and south. But the broader comedy, which pokes fun at Italian ignorance of Arabic culture and dare I say the Catholic church can easily resonate with the offensive humor.

The gorgeous cinematography featuring the beautiful city of Milan more than makes up for the really lame storyline. It was surely a vehicle to showcase the dry and mostly offensive humor of the main character, Checco who is portrayed by a top comedian in Italy. Seeing Milan and most of all the Duomo again in all its splendor made it worth enduring this film. Thankfully it was free of charge because I certainly won't pay a dime to view it.

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