Review: ‘One Day in a Life’

Should make for more randy fun than director Stefano Tummolini manages to muster.

Studs in Speedos, a cruisy stretch of beach and a few joints passed between friends should make for more randy fun than director Stefano Tummolini manages to muster in “One Day in a Life.” Fortysomething Salvatore (Antonio Merone) hasn’t even made it through the dunes before he’s getting serviced by a fellow sunbather in the first scene, but the sexual energy gives way to intimacy hangups as soon as he hits the open sand. There, he spends the afternoon being pestered and psychoanalyzed by a group of flirty strangers — which may entice gay fest programmers but probably not distribs.

If it weren’t for the pic’s Italian provenance, no American fest would give “One Day” a second thought, though subtitles partly mask how shrill and uneven the perfs are, while a Euro openness toward beachfront nudity no doubt ups its allure. Otherwise, Tummolini’s egalitarian debut has little to offer beyond a few intermittently insightful observations about human relationships, as minor confrontations between characters slowly reveal everyone’s hidden agenda — so slowly that most will be wishing for a change of scenery long before this “Day” is done.

Peter Debruge

One Day in a Life

Italy

Production

An Angelo S. Draicchio presentation of a Ripley's Film production. (International sales: Ripley's Film, Rome.) Produced by Draicchio. Directed by Stefano Tummolini. Screenplay, Tummolini, Antonio Merone.

Crew

Camera (color HD), Raoul Torresi; editor, Torresi; music, Francesco Maddaloni; music supervisor, Fabio Venturi; set designers/costume designers, Federico Polucci, Dylan Tripp. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (World Cinema -- competing), Jan. 18, 2009. Original title: Un Altro pianeta. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Antonio Merone, Lucia Mascino, Francesco Grifoni, Chiara Francini, Tiziana Avarista, Saschat.
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