My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) this isn’t. I found the absurdist My Big Gay Italian Wedding an embarrassment. Based on a long running off-Broadway play by Anthony J. Wilkinson, co-writer and director Alessandro Genovesi tells the story of a troubled trip to the altar.
When Antonio (Cristiano Caccamo) pops the question to his boyfriend Paolo (Salvatore Esposito) in their Berlin apartment, things take an awkward turn. It quickly becomes apparent that Antonio hasn’t come out to his parents, so they head off to Italy to break the news. Accompanied by eccentric friends, they arrive in the stunning village of Civita di Bagnoregio, where Antonio was raised. His mother Anna (Monica Guerritore) is immediately supportive, but only if the wedding meets her expectations. Her favourite celebrity wedding planner must oversee all the arrangements. Paolo’s estranged mother must be in attendance. Finally, the marriage has to be officiated by the town mayor Roberto (Diego Abatantuono), who happens to be Antonio’s staid and less-than-enthusiastic father. Mayhem abounds.
This isn’t a great film for a raft of reasons. High on the list is that I didn’t feel there was much, if any, chemistry between the leads. And what was it with a crazy cross-dresser’s ludicrous appearance in the script? Given his issues, why would his new housemates take him in?
I found no integrity in the characterisation of Antonio’s former girlfriend-come-stalker. Anna’s stern facial expressions didn’t fit the part. Instead of appearing genuinely happy for her son – which the role called for – she was just dour. Antonio’s father has a sudden change of attitude that had no ring of truth to it whatsoever. Nor did the total about-face from Paolo’s mother, who he supposedly hadn’t seen in three years.
And why did they plonk a Bollywood-style dance number at the end? Perhaps because they could. My only really favourable comments concern the settings and vistas. The cinematographer is Federico Masiero.
This is not a movie to concern yourself with. Move on.
Director: Alessandro Genovesi
Cast: Cristiano Caccamo, Salvatore Esposito, Monica Guerritore, Diego Abatantuono
Release Date: 30 May 2019
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Alex First is a Melbourne based journalist and communications specialist. He contributes to The Blurb on film and theatre.