Every Blessed Day (Tutti i Santi Giorni): Film Review

Every Blessed Day - P - 2013
The title will play well to middle-of-the-road arthouse auds.

Paolo Virzi's relationship film hits the fest circuit after a commercial run in Italy.

A gently comic tale about the near-psychotic willingness to sacrifice a nurturing relationship because of difficulties making babies, Paolo Virzi's Every Blessed Day watches sympathetically as an adoring boyfriend exhausts his options to help his lover conceive. Well liked in its native Italy, the film is wholly accessible for U.S. audiences, benefiting from an easy chemistry between two likeable leads.

Luca Marinelli plays Guido, a brainy youth whose fascination with Classical literature and history is such that he's genuinely happy with a job as a hotel night porter that leaves him ample time to read. Every morning he comes home to sleeping girlfriend Antonia (Italian pop singer Thony, aka Federica Victoria Caiozzo), waking her with breakfast in bed, a daily bit of trivia from the lives of the saints, and sex.

The two haven't used contraceptives since the first night they spent together six years ago, and have lately been worried: When nosy acquaintances ask when they'll "start trying" to have kids, they have no idea how long the effort has been underway. Virzi brings viewers in just as the couple begin to involve doctors: Guido first, running off in secret to check the vitality of his sperm; then her exams, consultations, and the decision to try in-vitro fertilization.

All this anxiety is presented with a sweetness echoed in scenes of the couple's daily life, but Virzi is good at knowing the point at which sweetness turns to schmaltz. Discussions of Antonia's fading music career give the story a past to tug against all these plans for the future (the actresses own introspective music fills the picture), and the reemergence of an old bandmate, which might've been played purely for comic effect, serves as an early hint that all is not well. Performances and tech are uniformly fine, with Marinelli particularly winning as the monkish student who has finally found someone he loves more than books.

Production Companies: Motorino Amaranto, Rai Cinema

Cast: Luca Marinelli, Federica Victoria Caiozzo, Micol Azzuro, Claudio Pallitto, Stefania Felicioli, Franco Gargia, Giovanni La Parola

Director: Paolo Virzi

Screenwriter: Paolo Virzi, Francesco Bruni, Simone Lenzi

Executive producer: Elisabetta Olmi

Director of photography: Vladan Radovic

Production designer: Alessandra Mura

Music: Thony

Costume designer: Maria Cristina La Parola

Editor: Cecilia Zanuso

No rating, 102 minutes