THIS is a fun comedy about gender roles, stereotypes, and perceptions in Italy. The story is about a high-achieving female architect, Serena Bruno (played perfectly by Paola Cortellesi) who is respected the world over.
One dreary day in London, she gets too homesick and decides to return to Italy.
She finds it hard to get a job, and works part-time all over the place. Finally, she gets a job as a waitress, and meets the “kitchen god” Francesco (played by Raoul Bova of Under The Tuscan Sky and The Tourist fame).
She also comes across an advertisement for a new building plan needed for a block of rundown flats.
But at the interview, the male-only board assumes she is the secretary of “Bruno Serena”. To get it, she takes on the assumption.
That’s when the hijinks start, with the divorcé chef revealing his own predicament, along with a series of lovers who are as humourous as Serena’s own family of mum and aunt.
It’s a well-worn comic theme of a misled romance but director Riccardo Milani has perfectly cast his wife, Cortellesi, in this comic exploration of love as well as misogyny in the workplace.
Cortellesi makes her role believable with her sweet but honest portrayal of a woman architect who believes in herself. It won her the 2015 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists’ Nino Manfredi Award.
But the movie also reveals that anyone who does not fit the straight man bill has their own share of problems. From the long-suffering secretary of the bluff boss and another architect in the firm to the people who live in the rundown block of flats that has to be renovated.
In the end, Serena gets her own in her boss, and her newfound colleagues applaud her guts. She has in fact inspired them to get out of their own shells.
We also learn that the script draws on a real person, a female architect who did break the glass ceiling.
This 2014 movie is a heartwarming tale, and even inspiring, in between the laughs and giggles.