Age is not kind to devotion, at least judging from helmer Giovanni Veronesi’s latest omnibus offering, “Manual of Love.” Divided into four sections chronicling the ups and downs of relationships from falling in love to out-and-out abandonment, pic’s charms are strictly in the thesping department rather than the overly predictable screenplay. A modest comedy with a cast of heavy-hitters, pic opened on 550 screens nationwide, raking in nearly E3 million ($3.9 million) in its first weekend. Despite local popularity, success will be limited to home territory.
Affable Tommaso (Silvio Muccino) falls madly in love with the uninterested Giulia (Jasmine Trinca), but by the time their allotted half-hour elapses, he’s won the girl and they’re talking a babyish language of love. Older couple Barbara (Margherita Buy) and Marco (Sergio Rubini) have lost the spark in their relationship, which she hopes to re-ignite with a baby. Traffic cop Ornella (Luciana Littizzetto) discovers a little betrayal can actually help a marriage, while pediatrician Goffredo (Carlo Verdone) isn’t so lucky in winning back his wife. Casual meetings bind them all together, but this is no “La Ronde.” Tech credits are unimpeachable.