Love Is Not Perfect (L'Amore E Imperfetto): Film Review

Courtesy of Montreal International Film Festival
Muddled romance goes in too many directions at once.

Francesca Muci adapts her own novel about a 35-year-old's sexual comeback.

MONTREAL — A mishmash of a sexual-reawakening tale that lets its heroine (sort of) get her groove back before making clear she'd lost it, Francesca Muci's Love is Not Perfect offers sexy encounters and ridiculous ones but isn't sure which are which. Stateside prospects are slim beyond fest bookings despite an often appealing lead and marketable rom-com elements.

Anna Foglietta plays Elena, a single 35-year-old Italian woman who's running errands when a minor accident introduces her to two separate strangers: 18 year-old hot mess Adriana (Lorena Cacciatore), who latches onto Elena immediately; and Ettore (Bruno Wolkowitch), a substantially older man who is quietly attractive enough that Elena starts haunting the same spot trying to bump into him again.

Soon Elena is making time with both of them. The young girl steamrolls into her life, talking her heterosexual crush into phone sex and showing up uninvited at her home. The older man (wouldn't you know, he's a record producer) is emotionally distant but handsome in his weathered way; and then there's that little cigar he keeps rolling around in his mouth...

Interspersed with this action is the story of a failed romance in Elena's past: The male model-like photographer (Giulio Berruti) who charmed her, waited forever for sex but then impregnated her, and then turned out to be (surprise!) having an affair with a man. At his insistence, Elena had the baby, but she gave it to him to raise and never saw either of them again. She does, however, stalk the nanny from time to time.

Foglietta's fidgety, neurotic performance suits the picture's comic elements and gives some friction to scenes with the off-the-rails and bi-curious Adriana. But it's not up to selling the story's melodramatic side, which brushes up uncomfortably against the sex and comedy. Muci's storytelling never establishes that the character is hopelessly lonely enough to require the embarrassment of erotic riches (and sometimes, it really is embarrassing) the film bestows on her. The end is an eye-rolling cliche that tries to tie all these disparate threads into a happy package.

Production Company: R & C Produzioni

Cast: Anna Foglietta, Bruno Wolkowitch, Giulio Berruti, Camilla Filippi, Lorena Cacciatore

Director: Francesca Muci

Screenwriters: Gianni Romoli, Francesca Muci

Producers: Tilde Corsi, Gianni Romoli

Director of photography: Vittorio Omodei Zorini

Production designer: Massimo Santomarco

Music: Manuel De Sica

Costume designer: Alessandro Lai

Editor: Alessandro Marinelli

No rating, 96 minutes