Review: ‘One Day in a Life’

Ensemble character study of scantily clad gays and straights lolling on a beach in Rome surehandedly sprinkles multiple epiphanies among offhand social observations.

Ensemble character study of scantily clad gays and straights lolling on a beach in Rome surehandedly sprinkles multiple epiphanies among offhand social observations. Characters crisscross so prolifically, forming quasi-experimental pairings, that their intersections cease to feel like orchestrated setups. Winner of the Queer Lion award at Venice, this small-scale, laid-back celebration of the discoveries to be made beyond first impressions and initial attractions should be much in demand at gay fests and venues.

Helmer Stefano Tummolini burrows into incremental discoveries rather than trading in dramatic revelations. Thus the ditzy sexpot whose words spill from her mouth as freely as her breast from her bikini top turns out to have a canny grasp of people’s problems. The pic’s gay protagonist (co-scripter Antonio Merone), a self-proclaimed cop, finds he shares more interests with a quiet, self-effacing young woman than with the dashing actor who looks disturbingly like his late longtime lover. Combining gentle humanism with wry social satire, the pic hits few false notes, effortlessly capturing the fervidly lazy rhythms of seaside intercourse, Raoul Torresi’s lensing grants a spatial integrity to the characters’ aimlessness.

One Day in a Life

Italy

Production

A Ripley's Film production. Produced by Angelo S. Draicchio. Directed by Stefano Tummolini. Screenplay, Tummolini with Antonio Merone.

Crew

Camera (HD-to-35mm), Raoul Torresi; editing, Bruno Sarandrea, Torresi; music, Francesco Maddaloni. Original title: Un Altro Pianeta. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days), Sept. 2, 2008. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Antonio Merone, Lucia Mascino, Chiara Francini, Francesco Grifoni, Tiziano Avarista, Sashat.
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