An Italian Name (2015)

Original Title

Il nome del figlio




Francesca Archibugi




Alessandro Gassmann, Valeria Golino, Luigi Lo Cascio, Rocco Papaleo, Micaela Ramazzotti, Manuela Mandracchia, Giulia Salerno, Tommaso Strizzi, Raffaele Vannoli, Daniele Rampello, Carolina Cetroli, Andrea Amato, Domenico Spadafino


Father-to-be Paolo (Alessandro Gassman) is invited for dinner by his sister (Valeria Golino) and his brother-in-law (Luigi Lo Cascio). When he announces the scandalous name for his future son, the hosts objects to that, and the situation eventually gets out of hand.


I really wanted to watch this film when it came out but then I watched the French version, and I passed on this one because I was sure it was going to be the stupid Italian version of a brilliant comedy. Then a few days ago I decided to give it a try, mainly because it stars Alessandro Gassmann, probably the only modern-day Italian actor I like. And it wasn't half bad. Actually it was a pleasant surprise. Indeed "An Italian Name" is an entertaining and clever comedy.

Just like the French "What's In A Name?", this one is also based on the play "Le Prénom", but it still feels fresh and original because the filmmakers didn't just copy the play straight away. Rather they used the storyline as a guide to make something else.

This film in fact goes beyond the political stereotypes of the original, and it's actually a beautiful portrayal of a group of people that collide with each other, because of memories, misunderstandings, and rancor.

Among all the characters, I enjoyed the contrast between Sandro and Paolo. The first is conceited and convinced of being the only one capable of changing the world, the second is just a fool, but a fool full of life that always manages to get everybody's attention. What I liked even more is the tribute to Vittorio Gassman since the character of Paolo, played by his son Alessandro, recalls Bruno Cadorna in "Il Sorpasso".

And finally there's the cast, from Alessandro Gassmann, who in my opinion is getting better and better, to Valeria Golino, to Rocco Papaleo who finally plays a different and more interesting role, they all do a good job. And what a chemistry they have. There's a scene where they sing and dance to Lucio Dalla's "Telefonami tra vent'anni" that is so natural it feels real. And they are clearly having a good time which means the audience is also going to have a good time.

1 comment :

  1. I haven't even heard of this film but it sounds like fun. Is he the son of Vittorio Gassman? What is the baby's name??:)