A surfeit of cuteness will cause saccharine shock to anyone viewing sculptor-turned-helmer Giovanni Albanese's trite, mindless drama, "A.A.A.Achille." Weighed down with pap sentiment and pop psychology, tale of a young boy with a bad stutter (mirrored by film's title) manages to be equal parts too thin and too heavy. Pic's small opening in Italy mid-June signals a rightful death-knell for offshore prospects.

A surfeit of cuteness will cause saccharine shock to anyone viewing sculptor-turned-helmer Giovanni Albanese’s trite, mindless drama, “A.A.A.Achille.” Weighed down with pap sentiment and pop psychology, tale of a young boy with a bad stutter (mirrored by film’s title) manages to be equal parts too thin and too heavy. Pic’s small opening in Italy mid-June signals a rightful death-knell for offshore prospects.

Achille (Loris Pazienza) is initially the only child in a clinic for people who stutter. At this kind of 28-day rehab for verbal misfits, the buffoonish doctor in charge (Paolo Bonacelli) treats speech impediments by having his patients sing sentences rather than speak them. Alumnus and resident kooky artist Remo (Sergio Rubini) clashes with the methodology, advocating instead a course of self-affirmation. Novice Albanese gathered known talents to put together this semi-autobiographical tale: scripter Vincenzo Cerami won an Oscar for “Life Is Beautiful,” and star Rubini has big name recognition in Italy, but the latter’s usually likeable nervous energy here borders on the sticky sweet. Lensing is average, but post-synching often inept, and Nicola Piovani’s score is annoyingly repetitive.

A.A.A.Achille

Italy

Production

A Medusa Films release of a CGG production. (International sales: Cecchi Gori Group, Rome.) Produced by Vittorio Cecchi Gori. Directed by Giovanni Albanese. Screenplay, Vincenzo Cerami, Albanese.

Crew

Camera (Technicolor), Maurizio Calvesi; editor, Simona Paggi; music, Nicola Piovani; production designer, Marco Dentici; costume designer, Liliana Sotira. Reviewed at Cinema Adriano, Rome, June 19, 2003. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Sergio Rubini, Helene Sevaux, Paolo Bonacelli, Loris Pazienza, Lucia Vasini, Patrizia Loreti, Franco Barbero, Antonio Fornari, Pino Ingrosso.
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