A by-the-numbers Italo coming-of-ager, “Youths” mistakes mood for meaning and thus grows old quickly. Pic has garnered a few fest dates but feels more like tube fare outside of home territories, with precious little shelf life in ancillary.
Two sullen 20-year-olds meet at random, then return to their own lives before hooking up again 24 hours later. Matteo (Davide Pasti) has a mother (Lina Sastri) dying of a serious disease, and a father (Massimo Wertmuller) who can’t deal with that. Juliette (Gallianne Pallayret), is a French student studying in Parma — where pic was shot — who is expecting her married professor’s child. During the course of the day the two grapple with the transition from carefree adolescence to responsibility, while processing the poor examples set by the adults in their lives. Pace of sib helmers Luca and Marco Mazzieri has the perquisite surface flash, but pic fails to engage auds with fate of characters and is too of-the-moment to resonate beyond first-run life (Italo opening in January 2003 garnered mixed reactions). Nervous, muddy vid-to-35mm tech package is no better or worse than other works that sacrifice surface polish for stylish grit.