Alessandro Genovesi’s uninventive farce, The Worst Christmas of My Life, isn’t the worst movie you’ll ever see – but it’s hardly worth going out of your way to catch. Long on the obvious and short on the laughs, the film never really rises above standard Christmas comedy fare.
Reviewed by Drew Ninnis.
Director: Alessandro Genovesi
Screenplay: Fabio De Luigi, Alessandro Genovesi
Runtime: 93 minutes.
Cast: Fabio De Luigi, Cristiana Capotondi, Antonio Catania, and Anna Bonaiuto.
Trailer: That poor bird.
Plot: Our generic hero Paolo, now married and with a pregnant wife, travels to a castle in the Alps to meet his wife’s family and her father’s boss. A man of exceptional clumsiness and bad luck, it is not long before beloved pets are killed, property is damaged, and the boss is declared prematurely dead. For Paolo’s father-in-law this is disastrous, as he is hoping that his longstanding friend and boss will put him in charge of the company.
Festival Goers? Miss it.
Viewed as part of the Lavazza Italian Film Festival.
Review: Well, it was short and there were a few genuine laughs at the start. But not much comes of Alessandro Genovesi’s latest attempt at an Italian farce, with all of the dull and predictable elements you would expect. For example:
Turkey + giant ceramic basting pot (apparently an American thing) + pantry that could be mistaken for a toilet + blackout = protagonist disastrously pissing over the main Christmas meal and being blamed.
All of the other elements of the film are similarly assembled, coming together as a barely believable Rube Goldberg machine of plot to hurry us towards the next scheduled laugh. But that laugh needs to come as a surprise, and here neither writer-director Alessandro Genovesi or writer-performer Fabio De Luigi are smart enough to pull that off. Impending desecrations of the generous hospitality of their rotund host (Diego Abatantuono) are telegraphed as soon as he expresses affection for an object or animal – dooming it to be somehow destroyed by the end of the film.
The farce as formula is an unfunny thing to watch, but at least here it isn’t too obnoxious and there is little attempt at establishing a self-seriousness. It is well shot, competently acted (within the limits of the ridiculous script), and paced to move fast. But all of those are apologies for a lacklustre film, rather than positive reasons to see it.
And as I am nursing a modest hangover, I will send you, good reader, on your way early. There is little more to report and nothing much worth a detour to see in The Worst Christmas of My Life. Oh, except that apparently it was a sequel to a previous film starring Fabio De Luigi as Paolo. Can’t say I’ll be going out of my way to catch that one either.
Rating: Two stars.