Many filmmakers have wanted to shoot Eduardo De Filippo's Neapolitan novel, including Scorsese, Mazursky, and Altman. Zeffirelli once directed a stage adaptation in London that starred Olivier as the jealous husband. But Lina Wertmuller, a native of southern Italy, brought it to celluloid in 1990 with Sophia Loren (another native of the area) starring. In a village near Naples, we follow the traditional Italian family ritual of preparation for Sunday dinner, especially the fabled ragu' sauce. Small misunderstandings blow up into dramatic confrontations and cold silences as Don Peppino Priore suspects his wife Rosa of having an affair with Janiello and is appalled when she invites the imagined rival and his wife for the dinner. To the average American viewer, and those familiar with Wertmuller's more sweeping and arresting dramas, such as "Swept Away" and "Seven Beauties," this tale may seem conventional and slight, but it's a rare and lovely tale of the trials and triumphs of middle-aged marriage, and at 56, Loren still looks magnificent and does wonderful acting. The film was shot in Loren's home village of Pozzuoli, and the husband is played by the son of the original story's author.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus