Every Blessed Day (Tutti i santi giorni) – Movie Review

A lively and funny essay on the life in love and the survival of love.

Screened at New York’s Lincoln Center’s Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, “Every Blessed Day” is a madcap comedy, and serious exploration, of values and emotions. Hidden away in the intimate corners of Italy, young couple Antonia and Guido are madly in love. Despite the profound differences in their characters and in their daily lifestyles, they live for nothing more than to fall into each other’s arms at the end of the day. They are each other’s salvation, but that salvation will be threatened when instinct takes its predictable course.

Guido, (Luca Marinelli) is an academic genius, specializing in ancient languages, and spends his life stalking bookstores when he is not working at his job as a night doorman. He does not care that he is working at a menial job, for nothing, and his exquisite love of ancient history is going to waste. It is the principal that counts with Guido. The principal of pure knowledge and (after all, this is Italy), the principal of love. His Toscana roots make him patient, thoughtful and considerate. They also lead him to consider the next step in the couple’s intense romantic relationship. Children.

Antonia (Thony) is a talented, fiery musician from Sicily. Although at her daytime job, the secretary at a rental car agency, she is bottled up and compressed like warm champagne; her performances seethe and boil with the fire of Mt Etna. Unlike the grounded Guido, son of the farmland, she is the spawn of the red-hot emotions of the Sicilians. What she wants, she wants now and there are no two ways about it. Unsure about the entire idea of children, she bows to her love for Guido. But try as they might, there is no conception.

The two are bound together by their differences just as Italy is bound together by its contradictions. There is no breaking asunder what God has united, and love conquers all. Or does it? Occasionally even the most dedicated couples lose their way. But even when they do, at least in the novel by “La Generazione” by Simone Lenzi, there is a lighting shining at the end of the tunnel.

A very modern couple with a very old problem, the two try all of the modern methods of enhancing conception. The more they try, the more the mission of childbirth becomes an obsession instead of a dream. The inability to have children encroaches on their sincere love, eroding it with a false equation of intimacy and fecundity. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, worldly thoughts seem to displace the pure, spiritual connection that sprang up spontaneously between the two at the moment they met. Demons from the past, locked inside and kept down by the force of true love, erupt to the surface.

Poignant, funny and always pulling and hugging onto the heartstrings like a newborn child; this movie is the date flick for couples who want to explore the reality of intense relationships. The new age takes the desperate couple to some very strange places, from chanting in the snow to the most bizarre of fertility counselors, The Pope’s gynecologist and a night porter who recounts some remarkable sexual anecdotes (just in case you were curious).

It is the mark of a good relationship film that there is a mixture of happiness and sadness, and this film is no exception. Never donning the commercial mantle of prime time fantasy, this film tells the story of the real McCoy love affair that, when it is good, is very good, and when it is bad, is horrid.

The original music in the film is by Thony, who plays Antonia.

Directed by: Paolo Virzì Written by: Paolo Virzì, Francesco Bruni and Simone Lenzi, based on the book “La Generazione” by Simone Lenzi Starring: Luca Marinelli, Thony, Micol Azzurro Release Date: None at this time, screened at Open Roads: New Italian Cinema MPAA: Not Rated Run Time: 102 minutes Country: Italy Language: Italian with English subtitles Color: Color