If you’ve been quarantining with older family members, then you might really relate to this charming nothing of an Italian movie. Directed by and starring Gianni Di Gregorio who co-wrote Gomorrah, a Mafia movie that was bleak and violent, Mid-August Lunch, originally released in 2008, is the opposite. The setting is timeless: Rome, on a scorching hot holiday weekend that shuts down all of Italy. All the good people of the city want to do is get out of it, to go to the seaside. But what is a man to do if he has to take care of his mama?
Middle-aged bachelor Gianni gets along well with his demanding, be-wigged 97-year-old mother (played by Valeria De Franciscis), with whom he lives. Partly through accident, partly through design, Gianni takes in three more senior-aged women for the holiday, Italian elsers parked at Gianni’s small flat by naughty middle aged sons who want to go to the beach. These women are actually not actresses but relatives of friends recruited for the shoot.
Not too much happens, but Mid-August Lunch is a lovely window into a weekend staycation with a girl gang, average age of 85.
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.