A wannabe distaff comedy with molto hot air and poco bounce, “Film” reps a disappointing behind-the-lens debut by veteran actress Laura Betti. Harking back to Roman comedies by helmers like Dino Risi, but fatally lacking in both star power and visual gloss, pic about a bunch of friends and their ongoing man problems packs more dialogue per minute of screen time than any movie in recent memory. Outside Italy, “Film” is dead in the vaults.
Mara (Laura Morante), a 37-year-old actress just split from her producer b.f. (Vanni Corbellini), has a week to knock out a script for a competition. (Yup, it’s that kind of movie.) Distracted by the endless phone calls and visits by her friends — loud middle-aged blond Monica (Monica Scattini), married young airhead Tazi (Naike Rivelli, daughter of Ornella Muti) and calmer, older Vera (Maddalena Crippa) — Mara finally uses their lives as a basis for her opus. Largely set in the main character’s apartment, and vainly gussied up with perky music and B&W fantasy sequences, pic strains for a kind of crazy charm that rapidly becomes infuriating. Among the thesps, Morante emerges with a modicum of dignity.