Gianni Di Gregorio has this knack for taking simple Italian family situations and turning them into charming cinematic nuggets. His last film, “Mid-August Lunch,” had him taking care of a bunch of old ladies in Rome, while his buddies enjoyed the holidays. It was a hoot.
Well, he’s back. This time, in “The Salt of Life,” his aging mother is spending money she doesn’t have. She has many beautiful possessions she could sell, but she refuses to do so.
Poor Gianni, living in forced retirement at age 60 with only a small pension, can’t afford his mother’s extravagances, but any attempts to get her to sell some of her nice things is met with full resistance.
Still, always the perfect gentleman, Gianni does the bidding of his beloved, but pain-in-the-rear, mother; his estranged wife; his spoiled daughter; her freeloading on again/off again boyfriend; and their party-girl neighbor.
Everyone loves Gianni, everyone takes advantage of his good nature and they all say he drinks too much.
He’s missing the romance in his life, but is too shy to do much about it. He sees his other, older friends all with beautiful lovers. Why not him? Has he become invisible to the opposite sex?
This is about him either fantasizing or actually trying to do something about it, albeit awkwardly and hysterically. And in romantic Rome, where there are beautiful women everywhere, it’s making Gianni a little crazy.
I love this guy and I love this sweet movie.