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FILMS / REVIEWS

Review: L’agenzia dei bugiardi

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- Volfango De Biasi directs a free adaptation of successful French film Alibi.com, making for a pleasant comedy based on a series of misunderstandings and playing with lies and the art of deception

Review: L’agenzia dei bugiardi
Giampaolo Morelli and Diana Del Bufalo in L'agenzia dei bugiardi

With his tenth feature– after a host of documentaries (such as Crazy for Football [+see also:
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, awarded the David di Donatello) and various fiction feature films – Volfango De Biasi confirms his ability to create dynamic and brilliant action comedies, as he’s done in the past with the Christmas triad composed of Un Natale stupefacente, Natale col boss [+see also:
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and Natale a Londra – Dio salvi la regina [+see also:
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. His new film, L’agenzia dei bugiardi [+see also:
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making of
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. De Biasi’s latest feature, which comes out in January (just three months after the romantic and not very successful Nessuno come noi [+see also:
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), is a free adaptation of the successful French comedy Alibi.com [+see also:
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by Philippe Lacheau, "less youthful than the original and more focused on the love story," explains the director, who rewrote the screenplay along with Fabio Bonifacci (Loro chi? [+see also:
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). A comedy based on misunderstandings and sitting somewhere between the sentimental and the demented, with an incessant and awkward rhythm that slowly begins to hit the spot, playing on lies and the art of deception.

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"Better a beautiful lie than an ugly truth" is the motto of the diabolical agency, SOS Alibi, run by the handsome Fred (Giampaolo Morelli, star of Love and Bullets [+see also:
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), specialised in covering up the lies of his unfaithful clients by providing them with ingenious personalised alibis. With the help of technology expert Diego (Herbert Ballerina) and the newly hired Paolo (Paolo Ruffini), Fred has a speedy solution for every situation, thanks to false disguises, fake documents, deceptions on social media, and much, much more. But the situation gets out of hand when he falls in love with Clio (Alessandra Mastronardi), a jurist and champion of truth, who turns out to be the daughter of one of his agency's clients, namely Alberto (Massimo Ghini), who urgently needs to cover up an escapade with his aspiring lover-cum-rapper Cinzia (Diana Del Bufalo, currently in cinemas in Attenti al gorilla [+see also:
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) on his wedding anniversary with Irene (Carla Signoris). In a twist of fate, they all end up together on holiday at the same resort, and the lies start to get out of control.

Betrayal, subterfuge, identity swaps and hotel rooms: the film soon turns into more of a pochade or cinepanettone, but the rapport between the characters works and the gimmicks used to deceive do result in a few laughs here and there (you want your girlfriend to think you're in Senegal? Put yourself under a palm tree when you Skype her or go to the zoo and take a picture with a zebra, and it's done). Despite some irrelevant gags used to aid the plot (Paul's narcolepsy, for example, as well as the unjustified development of his relationship with his colleague Diego), the film entertains viewers throughout its 100-minute run-time with its lightheartedness, vibrant imagination, surrealism and well-chosen cast of actors, including Paolo Calabresi in the role of the beloved family friend, abandoned by his wife and the guardian of a few dark secrets, and a friendly cameo by the Italian rock star Piero Pelù as himself.

Produced by Picomedia in collaboration with Medusa Film, and with the contribution of the Regions of Puglia and Lazio, L’agenzia dei bugiardi comes out in cinemas today, 17 January, with Medusa due to distribute 400 copies.

(Translated from Italian)

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