Despite decent chemistry between the leads, this extremely Italian pic's too thinly scripted to be captivating or even marginally insightful, spelling far-from-special buyers' interest.

An aspiring Italo actress and an inexperienced young chauffeur hang out in Rome in the misleadingly titled “A Special Day,” from Francesca Comencini (“Don’t Tell”). The girl’s being driven to a meeting with a senator, who’s apparently the first stop on the casting-couch circuit, and it’s clear the well-meaning but callow protags hope to get ahead in life and don’t question the fact that they need and are themselves asked for special favors — until it’s too late. Despite decent chemistry between the leads, this extremely Italian pic’s too thinly scripted to be captivating or even marginally insightful, spelling far-from-special buyers’ interest.

Gina (Giulia Valentini), dressed like a Playmate celebrating her First (Unholy) Communion, is picked up by Marco (Filippo Scicchitano) for her morning appointment, though the meeting keeps being postponed, leading them to wander around the city, look at a synchronized swimming competish, steal an expensive dress and go bowling. Activities are as humdrum as the sketchily drawn characters, though both Scicchitano (“Scialla!”) and newcomer Valentini are affable. Widescreen lensing by the usually great d.p. Luca Bigazzi is by the numbers; other below-the-line credits are also serviceably bland.

A Special Day

Italy

Production

A Lucky Red Distribuzione release of a Palomar production. (International sales: Rai Trade, Rome.) Produced by Carlo Degli Esposti. Executive producer, Patrizia Massa. Directed by Francesca Comencini. Screenplay, Giulia Calenda, Comencini, Davide Lantieri, based on the novel "Il cielo con un ditto" by Claudio Bigagli.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Luca Bigazzi; editors, Massimo Fiocchi, Chiara Vullo; music, Ratchev & Carratello; production designer, Paola Comencini; costume designer, Ursula Patzak; sound, Alessandro Zanon, Alessandro Palmerini; assistant director, Carlotta Cerquiti. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 7, 2012. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Filippo Scicchitano, Giulia Valentini, Roberto Infascelli, Antonio Giancarlo Zavatteri, Daniele Del Priore, Rocco Miglionico.
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