A gently ironic high school laffer set in Italy in the ’80s, “Night Before Finals” has soared to the top of box office charts with grosses of more than $9.2 million already tallied by producers RAI and IIF. A midstream comedy not that far away from Pupi Avati, pic marks a splashy directing bow for Fausto Brizzi, long-time scriptwriter with Marco Martani of the off-color and ever-popular Xmas comedies directed by Neri Parenti. Here Brizzi’s clean-cut teens fetchingly stumble through crushes and cramming. This lightweight effort, cunningly aimed at several age groups, looks mainly local.
When Luca (Nicolas Vaporidis) blasts his hated lit teacher (Giorgio Faletti) with a stream of insults, he doesn’t know the prof will be sitting in on his oral exams. He tries to get back in favor with the prof while pining for the vixenish Claudia (Cristiana Capotondi), who he doesn’t realize is the prof’s daughter. A bright young cast gives the fast-moving screenplay sparkle. For fortysomethings, pic is a trip down memory lane, from bizarre TV shows of the time to Queen and Duran Duran. Film’s title comes from a classic Antonello Venditi song.