Quanto basta (2018)

When it comes to Italian cinema, we are submerged with trailers and promotion of idiotic comedies, basically the same movie over and over again, as they, unfortunately, happen to be the movies my fellow countrymen pay to see. There are movies, I never even hear of, and Quanto basta is one of those. And if it wasn't for a friend of mine, I would have never known about its existence. 

The film follows Arturo (Vinicio Marchioni), a talented chef who has fallen into disgrace because of his bad temper. Convicted of assault, he is sentenced to social work in a center for autism. Once there, he meets Guido (Luigi Fedele), a young man with Asperger's syndrome who has a great passion for cooking. When Guido enters a cooking competition and asks Arturo to be his mentor, they both embark on a journey of personal growth. 

The story is very simple, it has the clichés of the genre, it feels unfocused at times, and plays out in a very predictable way, and yet I didn't really care as it is a feel-good story that highlights the importance of simplicity, in food but mostly in life --as Arturo says in the film, the world needs more a perfect spaghetti al pomodoro than it needs chocolate branzino.

What Quanto basta does best though is dealing with a delicate topic such as Asperger's syndrome in the most respectful and honest of the ways as it doesn't shy away from showing the daily struggles of someone dealing with this illness, it doesn't make fun of it, as I was expecting, and shows that Aspies are still people and we should treat them as such.

The friendship that develops between Arturo and Guido is clichéd, but it's nevertheless heartwarming and feels genuine. Arturo never feels pity for Guido; there are no filters between them as Arturo treats him exactly as he would treat a "normal" person.

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The unknown cast (at least it's unknown to me) does a pretty good job. Vinicio Marchioni gives a believable performance as Arturo, the cynical and surly chef who learns from Guido more than he would have ever thought. The standout though easily is Luigi Fedele. His performance as Guido is fantastic.

There's something about Quanto basta that didn't work for me though. It is the comedy. Unfortunately, most of the jokes and gags fell flat and I chuckled only a few times.


  1. This sounds like a charming film more than a flat out comedy. Sometimes films are hard to place into a certain genre. I would like to see this movie

  2. Seeing the film tonite in Detroit for the Italian Film Festival series that happens this month. I enjoyed your review....the synopsis was well written.