[Last Time I Saw] The Manual Of Love (2005)

English Title: The Manual Of Love
Original Title: Manuale D’ Amore
Year: 2005
Country: Italy
Language: Italian
Genre: Comedy
Director: Giovanni Veronesi
Writers: Vincenzo Cerami, Ugo Chiti, Giovanni Veronesi
Music: Paolo Buonvino
Cinematography: Giovanni Canevari
Carlo Verdone
Silvio Muccino
Luciana Littizzetto
Sergio Rubini
Margherita Buy
Jasmine Trinca
Rodolfo Corsato
Sabrina Impacciatore
Dario Bandiera
Anita Caprioli
Dino Abbrescia
Giacomo Gonnella
Anna Orso
Rating: 5.7/10

Saw this film during a class, it’s surprise to see Carlo Verdone and Silvio Muccino again, last time I saw them together in “Il Mio Miglior Nemico” (2006), so I guess both are marquee actors in Italy (actually Carlo Verdone is a director too and the cast includes a dozen of the most famous Italian contemporary actors/actresses).

Actually I heard of this series before, the “Manuela D’ Amore 2” also has become a huge success in Italy (with Monica Bellucci, a current sexy symbol of Italy), and rumor says the 3rd installment will invite Robert De Niro to join a star-studded cast, which shows its ambition to conquer a more international terrain.

The film has been a successful domestic box-office bomb in 2005 and also met with mainly positive feedbacks. It consists of four stories of love, from “falling in love”, “the crisis”, “the betrayal” to “the abandoned”, four different sets of protagonists interpret their own chapter with a previous one educes a latter story and finally the fourth chapter encircles with the first one to make everything looks so perfect.

It is an innocuous comedic film with predictable farce and generally it is quite enjoyable. Although each chapter seems nothing particularly outstanding (when we talk about love, I think we have already seen ALMOST everything on screen), the advantage is that with four different stories altogether and each lasts for only 30 mins, the film shrewdly changes to a new chapter as soon as the previous one shows a sign of burning out, which at least will not annoy the audience (critics are not included).

The film got 10 nomination of David di Donatell Awards (Italian Oscar) and won several of them (including Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Carlo Verdone and Margherita Buy), which cruelly shows the truth that now we are in a world starving for great comedies, it is not only in Italy, but the whole earth as well.


One thought on “[Last Time I Saw] The Manual Of Love (2005)

  1. Dear CriticI agree with you. we are starving for good comedies. The great era of italian comedies is over, and now there are some ghosts of comedies which stand above the dull production not because of excellence, but because of the ordinary level of most of the other movies.I must say that I like Verdone a lot. But one must be italian to enjoy his comicity, based on day-to-day characters which evoke many souvenirs in italian people. And he uses Roman dialect, which is quite peculiar, all the more in its intonation, and looses a lot of its spice when translated (of course this is true for most of the dialects of any language in the world).Am curiously awaiting your next review, and compliments!

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