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MANUAL OF LOVE

SYNOPSIS:
Young Tommaso (Silvio Muccino) and Giulia (Jasmine Trinca) go through the delightful process of falling in love: first date, first kiss, incredible sex, living together, getting married ... happily ever after? Barbara (Margherita Buy) and Marco (Sergio Rubini) experience their first profound crisis after a long-term relationship: will a child help them overcome it? Feisty traffic cop Ornella (Luciana Littizzetto) is shattered by her husband's dramatic betrayal. So she uses her position of power to seek revenge against the enemy: men! Goffredo (Carlo Verdone) must come to grips with his wife abandoning him. Totally unprepared for this, the first big tragedy of his life, he must try to get his life together and have new relationships whilst relying on an audio-book reassuringly entitled "Manual of Love", which offers advice to the broken-hearted.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The film is structured as four stages, or chapters, that comprise various facets of love, from the first thrill to the pain of being abandoned, all told with a tremendous sense of humour and performed to perfection.

The first half is by far the funniest, although director Giovanni Veronesi manages to squeeze laughs out of almost every situation without resorting to cheap shots or artifice. The truthfulness of the screenplay and the controlled performances from a top cast makes the film as entertaining as it is honest. There are no messages, except perhaps the simple truth: love is wonderful, mysterious and magical, but it can also mean pain.

The four chapters of this cinematic Manual of Love, which is cleverly presented as an audio book of the same title, explore falling in love, the crisis, the betrayal and the abandonment. Each story has an interlocking character with the next, neatly and seamlessly written so there is no manipulation. This device serves simply to unite the film, and has no profound significance, any more than an Altman cross hatching.

Thoroughly entertaining and satisfying, Manual of Love is a showcase of excellent contemporary Italian filmmaking.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MANUAL OF LOVE (M)
(Italy, 2005)

CAST: Silvio Muccino, Jasmine Trinca, Margherita Buy, Sergio Rubini, Luciana Littizzetto, Carlo Verdone

PRODUCER: Aurelio DeLaurentiis

DIRECTOR: Giovanni Veronesi

SCRIPT: Giovanni Veronesi, Ugo Chitti (story by Vincenzo Cerami)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Giovanni Canevari

EDITOR: Claudio Di Mauro

MUSIC: Paulo Buonvino

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Luca Gobbi

RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 23, 2006 (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)







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