The quirky postal workers of "Welcome to the South" reverse direction, arriving with more quirk yet less zing in helmer Luca Miniero's follow-up, "Welcome to the North."
The quirky postal workers of “Welcome to the South” reverse direction, arriving with more quirk yet less zing in helmer Luca Miniero’s follow-up, “Welcome to the North.” The earlier pic, adapted from French laffer “Welcome to the Sticks,” raked in $38 million, a figure this rematch may struggle to surpass despite an initial print run of 800 copies. Changing scripters from the first installment probably wasn’t a good idea, as “North” feels tired in ways not limited to the redux premise. Still, B.O. will be boffo, though again offshore chances are hampered by foregrounded regionality.
Following his eye-opening experience in the south, Alberto (Claudio Bisio) returns home to Milan with a promotion. Buddy Mattia (Alessandro Siani), from the laidback post office in Campania, gets transferred to Milan just when a new worker-efficiency system is introduced that makes everyone rebel. Mattia proves to wife Maria (Valentina Lodovini, playing the only character rather than caricature) that he’s got gumption, and Alberto convinces wife Silvia (Angela Finocchiaro) that he’s not all business. Skewering north/south stereotypes still gets honest chuckles, but half-hearted slapstick struggles for laughs. Visuals are upbeat though unremarkable.