Italian for Beginners

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Released 2000

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Movie Summary

Director:
Lone Scherfig
Released:
2000
Rating:
R
A relationship comedy about six thirty-somethings whose lives interweave one bleak Copenhagen winter. For these singles--in despair--in their small Danish town, their introductory Italian class is the catalyst that infuses their ordinary lives with passion and makes their dim futures significantly brighter. Andreas is a minister whose wife has recently died, and arrives in town to fill in for the suspended, spiteful pastor. Expecting to stay only for a short while, he is encouraged to take Italian lessons where he meets Olympia. While staying in a local hotel, he befriends the lonely concierge, who has a crush on an Italian waitress from the hotel cafe. She, meanwhile, must deal with her rude and aggressive boss. Two women in the class are both caretakers for their elderly parents, and both are having difficulties with their bad-tempered relatives. Family obligations, miscommunication and shaky self-esteem complicate these relationships.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    A delicious and delicately funny look at the residents of a Copenhagen neighborhood coping with the befuddling complications life tosses at them.

  • 70

    Variety Eddie Cockrell

    The most nonconfrontational and thus accessible title in the Dogma lot to date, and will speak the international language of proletariat love to arthouse auds who go for such fare.

  • 50

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Despite its hip, off-center style and pointed de-glamorization of its singles, the movie adds up to little more than feel-good fluff.

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Categories

Comedy, Drama

Themes

Foreign Language, Romantic Comedy