MY BEST ENEMY
Achilles (Carlo Verdone), the CEO of a hotel chain owned by his wife (Agnese Nano), accuses one of his employees, single mother Annarita (Sarah Bertela) of stealing a guest's computer and fires her on the spot. She complains to her son, Orfeo (Silvio Muccino), who urges Achilles to rehire his mother - to no avail - then decides to ruin the adulterous Achilles' life. Along the way, Orfeo falls in love with the beautiful but troubled Cecelia (Ana Caterina Morariu), who turns out to be Achilles' daughter. When she disappears in a post traumatic bid to escape, her father and her new lover unite to find her and everyone's life changes for ever.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The most striking - and successful - aspect of My Best Enemy as a comedy is its profoundly serious themes; betrayal in marriage, troubled paternal relationships and a profoundly incompetent mother figure. The film's moods change as it passes through these various elements to make it a multi layered and complex story involving people who are a lot more complicated than simplistic comedy figures.
Silvio Muccino (disturbingly Russell Crowe-ish in many scenes) delivers a wonderfully dramatic character in Orfeo, a young man to whom life happens - until love makes him proactive. Carlo Valdone is an old pro who makes comedy schtick look easy, and Ana Caterina Morariu is engaging as the strong minded young woman caught in the middle of a war between two men in her life.
Some scenes, especially those with Orfeo's mother Annarita are positively dramatic and Sarah Bertela is excellent in a thankless but pivotal role, which threatens to break our hearts. But the mood soon returns to its comedic core as the romance gears up for its ultimate, satisfactory repair.
Technically excellent and shot on great locations including Istanbul, the film is greatly helped by Paolo Buonvino's excellent score, which keeps tabs on the emotional railway lines that director Verdone lays down.
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MY BEST ENEMY (M)
Il Mio Migliore Nemico
CAST: Carlo Verdone, Silvio Muccino, Ana Caterina Morariu, Agnese Nano
PRODUCER: Aurelio De Laurentiis
DIRECTOR: Carlo Verdone
SCRIPT: Carlo Verdone, Silvio Muccino, Pasquale Plastino, Silvia Ranfagni
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Danilo Desideri
EDITOR: Claudio Di Mauro
MUSIC: Paolo Buonvino
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Maurizio Marchitelli
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth: January 11, 2007
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.