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Review: Mid-August Lunch

From gangsters to golden girls
By GERALD PEARY  |  March 23, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

After co-writing the international gangster hit Gomorrah, Gianni Di Gregorio, at 60, got the chance to direct his first film, using a script he’d written in the 1990s that was passed on by everyone. Di Gregorio had lived with his widowed mother, and Mid-August Lunch is a gentle, droll, autobiographical comedy in which he stars, very nicely, as a version of himself.

His Gianni is a middle-aged mama’s boy who, to pay his mounting condo bills, takes in three additional old ladies for several days in August while their sons partake of a Roman holiday. There is the tiniest story, but lots of heart.

The golden-girl ladies, non-actors all, are splendidly cast and sweetly winning: cooking, quarreling a bit, watching TV, eating tasty dinners. It’s like an episode of a superior television series that you’d like to see week after week.

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