Sunday, December 17, 2017

Movie Review: "The Lonely Italian" (2017)

Director: Lee Farber
Year: 2017
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

A 32-year-old Italian man signs up for just about every online dating site he can think of in the hopes of finding love in America in the digital age.

Comedy is a difficult genre to excel in, and it doesn't often get the recognition it deserves. Genuinely funny movies are infrequent and hard to come by, but we believe we have found a good one in writer/director Lee Farber's "The Lonely Italian." Domenico Nesci is the co-writer and overly charming star of this hilarious documentary-style comedy. Whether it is a fully-scripted mockumentary like "This is Spinal Tap" and "Best in Show" or a part documentary/part scripted film like Sasha Baron Cohen's "Borat," or "Bruno," we aren't really sure. What we see is Domenico Nesci going on hilariously awkward dates with women he met on sites and apps like 'J-Date' (despite not being Jewish), 'Farmers Only' (despite not being a farmer), and the more generalized ''  He also conducts a series of interviews with online dating experts as they give their own personal and professional advice on finding love, which is sometimes unbelievably funny on its own without much or any of Domenico's shenanigans.

"The Lonely Italian" works as well as it does because of Domenico Nesci. The guy is very funny and his antics consistently bring laughs throughout the movie's runtime. We have seen a lot of big-budget Hollywood comedies this year, and very few, if any, have made us laugh as much as this small little independent film did. Like we said, we aren't totally sure how much of it is staged and how much is improvised with genuine reactions from the women Domenico meets on his dates, but either way, it's outlandishly funny. If the women are acting, they certainly do a wonderful job making the audience believe they aren't. The whole movie is a little silly at times as you can tell Domenico is just doing things to get a reaction and a rise out of the women he is meeting. Still, in a connected age when we are so disconnected from each other, it's nice to see how people view dating, love, marriage, family, and sex.

We hope "The Lonely Italian" finds a wider release somewhere, someway. whether it is on video on demand, Netflix, Amazon, or another streaming service (Apparently, this movie is now available to rent on Amazon and is also now available to watch on Hulu! YAY!!) When we sit through painfully unfunny movies in the theater like "CHIPS," "Home Again," or "Rough Night" and watch them go on to amass a bunch of money, it pains us to know that a genuinely hilarious movie like "The Lonely Italian" may go virtually unseen. The little guy deserves a break, and this comedy is one we definitely won't forget.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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