Review: ‘Stay With Me’

The tale of a young married couple torn apart by a suspicion of infidelity, Livia Giampalmo's "Stay With Me" clings so tightly to stereotypes and narrative conventions it's drained of all drama and believability. Attractive young leads Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Adriano Giannini lay the sentimentality on thick.

The tale of a young married couple torn apart by a suspicion of infidelity, Livia Giampalmo’s “Stay With Me” clings so tightly to stereotypes and narrative conventions it’s drained of all drama and believability. Attractive young leads Giovanna Mezzogiorno (“The Window Opposite”) and Adriano Giannini, who starred opposite Madonna in “Swept Away,” lay the sentimentality on thick, making the small screen the most viable market for a film that could easily pass as feel-good family fare with the brief shots of nudity clipped.

Schoolteacher Chiara (Mezzogiorno) and swimming instructor Nanni (Giannini) romp with their small twin boys on the beach and in bed, bursting with love for each other and the family they’ve created. Only fly in the ointment is her opposition to his passion for stage acting. When she catches him in a compromising situation with an actress, she kicks him out of the house. Rest of pic recounts the long process of getting back together again in time to have another pair of twins. Caring friends and the parish priest help. A cheery score and sentimental guitar music reinforces the overly explicit dialogue and acting.

Stay With Me

Market / Italy

Production

A Filand production. (International sales: Sharada Intl., Rome.) Produced by Gianfilippo Ascione. Directed, written by Livia Giampalmo.

Crew

Camera (color), Franco Lecca; editor, Carlo Merli; production designer, Emita Frigato; music, Paolo Vivaldi. Reviewed at the Cannes Film Festival (market), May 18, 2004. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Adriano Giannini, Paolo Biguglia, Claudio Gioe, Marta Mondelli, Francesca Antonelli.
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