Tutti i santi giorni

 (Paolo Virzi, Italy, 2012) 102 minutes


Director: Paolo Virzi
Producer: Elisabetta Olmi
Screenplay: Paolo Virzi,
  Francesco Bruni, based on
  the novel La generazione
  by Simone Lenzi
Cinematography: Vladan Radovic
Editor: Cecilia Zanuso
Music: Thony
Luca Marinelli (Guido Caselli)
Thony (Antonia)
Micol Azzurro (Patrizia Caiozzi)
Claudio Pallitto (Marcello Caiozzi)
Stefania Felicioli (Gynecologist)
Franco Gargia (Professor Savarese)
Giovanni La Parola (Jimmy)
Frank Crudele (Domenico - Antonia's father)
Mimma Pirré (Rosetta - Antonia's mother)

Reviews and notes

2012 Villerupt (France), Festival del Cinema Italiano Tokyo
2013 Seattle
2014 Wellington (Italian Film Festival)

What makes a relationship successful? Latin scholar Guido (Luca Marinelli) comes home every morning from his job as a night porter at a fancy hotel to wake his girlfriend Antonia (Thony). He tells her about the saints over breakfast, she goes to her job as a car rental clerk. At night she sings in bars. This loving couple is tested when Antonia tries to become pregnant and it's not as easy as they expect. Every Blessed Day showcases the beauty of its Italian setting while exploring universal situations like the possibilities of parenthood and how we relate to our families. Along the way we visit the pope's gynecologist and learn about the unusual requests a night porter receives on the job. A colorful cast of characters accompany the lovers as they try to find their way through their difficulties, making this a movie that is as funny as it is thoughtful.

A gently comic tale about the near-psychotic willingness to sacrifice a nurturing relationship because of difficulties making babies, Paolo Virzi's Every Blessed Day watches sympathetically as an adoring boyfriend exhausts his options to help his lover conceive. Well liked in its native Italy, the film is wholly accessible for U.S. audiences, benefiting from an easy chemistry between two likeable leads.

Luca Marinelli plays Guido, a brainy youth whose fascination with Classical literature and history is such that he's genuinely happy with a job as a hotel night porter that leaves him ample time to read. Every morning he comes home to sleeping girlfriend Antonia (Italian pop singer Thony, aka Federica Victoria Caiozzo), waking her with breakfast in bed, a daily bit of trivia from the lives of the saints, and sex.

The two haven't used contraceptives since the first night they spent together six years ago, and have lately been worried: When nosy acquaintances ask when they'll "start trying" to have kids, they have no idea how long the effort has been underway. Virzi brings viewers in just as the couple begin to involve doctors: Guido first, running off in secret to check the vitality of his sperm; then her exams, consultations, and the decision to try in-vitro fertilization.

All this anxiety is presented with a sweetness echoed in scenes of the couple's daily life, but Virzi is good at knowing the point at which sweetness turns to schmaltz. Discussions of Antonia's fading music career give the story a past to tug against all these plans for the future (the actresses own introspective music fills the picture), and the reemergence of an old bandmate, which might've been played purely for comic effect, serves as an early hint that all is not well. Performances and tech are uniformly fine, with Marinelli particularly winning as the monkish student who has finally found someone he loves more than books.
- John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 June 2013.

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