Mid-August Lunch

Gianni and his charges in "Mid-August Lunch"

Mid-August Lunch” is an Italian comedy of manners.  Gianni is a likeable but un-ambitious man who lives with and cares for his elderly mother.  The film’s set up is that Gianni winds up having to house, feed and take care of three additional feisty, elderly women in order to satisfy payments owed on his condo and as a favor to a friend.  One would think that with this premise hilarity would surely ensue.  For the Film Forum audience with whom I saw “Mid-August Lunch,” of which I was the youngest member, this was certainly the case.  There was lots of laughing throughout with some of my fellow film-goers pronouncing the movie “perfect.”  If only I agreed with them.

I was struck that the audience reaction was in such contrast to mine.  My guess is that there was a cultural or age gap between the story and me over which I could not leap.

To its credit the actors in “Mid-August Lunch” were all very good, especially the four playing the elderly women.  Parts of the story were amusing but the material over all was not as engaging as it seemed to want to be, although again the audience loved it. “Mid-August Lunch” plays at Film Forum, in New York, through April 13.

Mid-August Lunch, director Gianni Di Gregorio, 2009,

Zeitgeist Films, 75 minutes


About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on April 5, 2010, in Comedy, Film Forum. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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