The big day (2022) by Massimo Venier

Directed again by Massimo Venier, Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo confirm with Il grande giorno the search for a more reflective approach to comedy, at times even melancholic; an approach that is clearly visible under the glowing comedy, the well-established comic tempos and the perfect harmony of the trio.

This wedding is busy. Whatever it takes.

The accident along the way Escape from Reuma Parkbankruptcy (prematurely) “senile” comedy, which seemed to want to close and summarize a whole phase of the trio’s career, now seems to be definitively behind us for Aldo, John and James. Already in 2020, in fact, the three had returned together to interpret the success I hate summera comedy which, if on the one hand marked a new beginning and an evolution of the trio’s themes and comedy model, on the other hand also saw the return to collaboration with Massimo Venier, historical director who had accompanied the three since the beginning of their cinematic adventure. A collaboration that is renewed now with this one The big daywhich also confirms the more mature and – in a certain way – more reflective approach with which the three comedians stage the gags that have made them loved by more than one generation of spectators.

At the center of the plot is the marriage between the respective sons of Giovanni and Giacomo, longtime friends and historical partners of Sagrate Arredi, a leading company in the production of sofas. Young people Catherine and helium they are preparing to get married in her father’s luxurious villa, located on Lake Como, for a ceremony that will be preceded by three days of celebrations, banquets and collateral events. However, from the first day of this “long wedding”, things don’t seem to work exactly as they should, especially when the impetuous Aldo, the new companion of Giovanni’s ex-wife, bursts into the villa. A series of accidents, and some unexpected revelations, will end up putting the marriage at risk, as well as the very harmony between the two partners and friends.

Betrothed and serpent relatives

The big day, Antonella Attili and Giacomo Poretti in a scene
The big day, Antonella Attili and Giacomo Poretti in a scene from the film

Confirming the evolution that began in the previous film (released only a month before the start of the lockdown, but still the third best-grossing result of 2020), The big day seems to show the search for a more reflective and even intimist approach in the cinema of the trio; an approach which prefers a more harmonious construction of the plot to the rapid pace of the gags, and which also offers space and narrative weight to a large group of other characters – no longer simply supporting characters. In fact, this new film seems to aim to be – although, obviously, a film starring the three could be – a more “choral” comedy than the previous ones: a desire that is evident right from the choice of the narrative voice, that of the priest played by Francesco Brandi. In this sense, the primary focus of the plot on the two characters played by Aldo and Giovanni (who are accompanied, of course, by the interpreters of their respective sons, Margherita Mannino And John Anzaldo) and the only later introduction by Giacomo; the latter, like him, is a sort of outsider who detonates – like an unaware elf, or a minstrel in a shabby court of miracles – dormant tensions and rancor, revealing secrets and throwing certainties into crisis. A choice that surprisingly brings the film (obviously with due proportions) closer to the tradition of the Italian comedy of the Scolas and Monicellis, the one that often had the family as the favorite target of its acid arrows.

Bittersweet comedy

The big day, Margherita Mannino, Giovanni Anzaldo, Aldo Baglio and Lucia Mascino in a scene
The big day, Margherita Mannino, Giovanni Anzaldo, Aldo Baglio and Lucia Mascino in a scene from the film

Don’t get us wrong, though: The big day it remains a film guided, in its rhythm, by the three protagonists and their interactions, now tested by a thirty-year career in theatre, television and cinema (as well as by a director who knows its potential and comic timing perfectly). However, to the paroxysm of the gags and the pleasure of the just, predictable but effective narrative joints – and perfectly studied comic tempos – Venier prefers a broader look here; a look that starts from a tasty reflection on the institution of marriage (and its evolution over the centuries) to lower the results into a contemporary bourgeois affair, which sees the older generation in the foreground with its small and large hypocrisies. A generation that the three – in different ways – effectively embody, in a plot that from the initial unleashed comedy soon becomes more reflective, with peaks of authentic melancholy. It is as if Baglio, Storti and Poretti themselves had wanted to concentrate their winks at their audience in the first part – with a succession of tragicomic incidents, culminating in the arrival of the character of Giacomo – to then develop the plot in a different direction, more complex and ripe. A direction more in line with the times and with the passing years, in which the gag is often accompanied by a melancholy parenthesis, and the laughter often becomes bitter. For our part, we would perhaps have preferred a greater in-depth analysis of the relationship between the two (promised) spouses, who remain central figures in the plot in any case; the pre-finale of the film, especially in the short subplot involving the character of Giacomo, also appears slightly rushed. Limits which however do not erase the pleasant surprise represented by The big dayalso expressed by a conclusion (or rather: by many conclusions) in which the bittersweet taste emerges which, under the patina of glowing comedy, actually informs a large part of the film.

The big day movie poster


Original title: The big day
Director: Massimo Venier
Country/year: Italy / 2022
Duration: 90′
Type: Comedy
Cast: Antonella Attili, Elena Lietti, Pietro Ragusa, Lucia Mascino, Roberto Citran, Andrea Bruschi, Aldo Baglio, Davide Calgaro, Giovanni Storti, Marouane Zotti, Eleonora Romandini, Giacomo Poretti, Giovanni Anzaldo, Jerry Mastrodomenico, Dina Braschi, Francesco Brandi, Francesco Renga , Margherita Mannino, Matilde Benedusi, Noemi Apuzzo
Film script: Giacomo Poretti, Giovanni Storti, Davide Lantieri, Aldo Baglio, Massimo Venier, Michele Pellegrini
Photography: Vittorio Omodei Zorini
Assembly: Enrico Cat
Music: Dario Brunori
Producer: Emmanuel Rossi
Production House: Medusa Film, Agidi
Distribution: Jellyfish Distribution

Exit date: 22/12/2022


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Marco Minniti

Journalist and film critic. I collaborate, or have collaborated, with various web and print publications, including (in chronological order) L’Acchiappafilm, and Since 2018 I have been a consultant for the psycho-educational reviews “Stelle Diverse” and “Aspie Saturday Film”, organized by the CuoreMenteLab center in Rome. In 2019 I founded the Asbury Movies website, of which I am the editor and managing director.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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