Immaturi: Six characters in search of meaning
by Gabriele Barcaro
12/01/2011 - It’s a recurring nightmare that haunts millions of students: repeating graduation exams [called “maturity exams” in Italian]. For many, it’s the ideal plot for a horror film (or at least a psychological thriller). What can be scarier than having to face professors again and speak about history, Greek, Latin and philosophy?
Luckily, everyone wakes up from even the worst nightmares. Everyone except the main characters of Immaturi [trailer] (“Immature”) by Paolo Genovese, when the Ministry of Education informs them that their high school diplomas have been invalidated for beaurocratic reasons.
Which sends a group of long-time friends, now 40-year-olds who haven’t grown up much, back to the books. There’s the "nerd" (a priceless Ricky Memphis) who still sleeps in his old bunk bed in his parents’ (Maurizio Mattioli and Giovanna Ralli) house; a single working mother (Barbora Bobulova); the child psychologist terrified of becoming a father (Raoul Bova); the sex-crazed chef who is afraid of making love (Ambra Angiolini); the DJ who pretends to be a husband and father in order to not commit to serious relationships (Luca Bizzarri); and the confirmed cheater (Paolo Kessisoglu).
They must all make amends with the still-brewing emotions, good and back, that resurface, in interwoven stories that, according to the director-screenwriter, still riding the success of Christmas hit La banda dei Babbi Natale [trailer], "isn’t autobiographical but is certainly very sincere and heartfelt".
The filmmaker and his characters share a common generation, says Genovese, “which has no ideals. Our parents lived through 1968, 1977, feminism. We instead are the ‘non-deciders’. Not that film wants to create a generational portrait – "Rather, six characters tackled through different tones, comedy as well as melancholy and seriousness,” he adds.
The result is an ensemble comedy – perhaps “too ensemble” given that Anita Caprioli appears at nearly the end of the film – that could continue the box office success that Italian cinema is currently enjoying. In particular titles by Medusa, which after producing the film with Lotus Production will distribute in domestically on January 21 on over 500 screens.
(Translated from Italian)