Actress and screenwriter-turned-director Simona Izzo, who scored a major hit with her 1994 debut, “Sentimental Maniacs,” follows with “Bedrooms,” a sluggish comedy about the difficulties of maintaining a loving relationship amid the pressures of modern-day metropolitan life. Sloppily directed and lacking any freshness or bite in its observations, this antiquated effort has a minor shot at local success thanks to its tireless veneration of “The Postman” star Maria Grazia Cucinotta’s cleavage. Offshore chances look less well endowed.
Basically the story of four frustrated couples, pic centers on Dario (Diego Abatantuono), a night watchman in a showroom for bedroom furniture, and his inamorata, Maddalena (Cucinotta). Her day job as a nurse means they cross paths only briefly each morning and evening. The needs of their children, plus the stress of bills to pay and the hefty divorce settlement demanded by Dario’s ex-wife, leave them with little energy for amore.
Interwoven are the tribulations of the furniture showroom’s penny-pinching accountant (Giobbe Covatta), who is reunited with a Russian former flame (Giuppy Izzo), and Dario’s nephew Lorenzo (Francesco Venditti), whose financial situation precludes having an apartment of his own in which to entertain Luisa (Alexandra La Capria). The young lovebirds are forced to make out in unaccommodating locations such as the beach and the home of Lorenzo’s crotchety grandmother (Isa Bellini).
The most poorly connected strand, and one that clashes with the presiding tone, becoming stridently farcical, concerns a pair of bickering actors (Ricky Tognazzi, Izzo) rehearsing an open-air summer theater production while trying to reconcile their passionate performances with their stormy offstage relationship.
Aside from the director and Tognazzi’s unmodulated hysteria, the cast is congenial enough, with Cucinotta appearing considerably more spontaneous and natural than in recent roles. But the writing of this unambitious ’60s throwback is far too tired and the rhythm too erratic to showcase any of the actors at their best. Tech input is respectable, notably Alessio Gelsini Torresi’s warm lensing of the seafront locations of Roman satellite city Ostia, and Nicola Piovani’s elegant score.