Life is often just "for sake of" and we need to know about it and want to benefit when we are presented with the occasion to. A bit for "sake of", a bit for choice, Rosalba, young and apart from anything a housewife of Pescara, during a bus trip after she found herself alone and...forgotten in a highway café, decides not to wait for her husband and sons to come back to pick her up but instead decides to find her own way home. She is a little offended that she has been forgotten by her family and has been told by her husband to stay put so, rebelling a little she finds herself hitch-hiking direct for Venice. Her adventure in Venice begins meeting strange but fascinating people. Fermo; an anarchistic florist, Grazia; a masseuse and Fernando; a waiter from Iceland that speaks his own language of Italian. Written by
Charmed and charming, a love story about true love
Bread and Tulips (2000)
A feel good movie that is also a good movie. It's beyond just warm and colorful, with scenes of Venice night and day, and beyond just triumphant, with true love winning in more ways than one. It is most of all populated with great characters. Italian leading lady Licia Maglietta is a wonder of naturalistic acting. She is sympathetic of course, but not a cliché. She plays a housewife on a diversion away from her family, and she looks and acts like a housewife. As strong as she is, and as independent, she is also devoted to her family. The fact she left them at all is perfectly unfolded as an accident that she turns into an opportunity, all by intuition.
The man she meets is no paradigm of handsome or charming, in fact he's just the opposite. But he is so inherently good, a really decent human being, she comes to like him, and look out for him. Played by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, he matches Maglietta's believable ease and imperfect, quiet intensity. The rest of the cast is truly supportive, and tips just slightly (or more than slightly in one case) into caricature, to reminds us, I suppose, that this is a movie, a fantasy, a comedy in many ways.
But it's also a deeply serious and moving love story between two middle-aged people who are ready for renewal.
I have a feeling many people, especially people with families or those conservative at heart, will find the basic premise of a woman leaving her family in a glib and almost carefree way and not going back for a long time to be shameful or even sinful. Her kids are normal distracted teenagers who like her when they notice her, her husband is a hardworking and loud businessman who doesn't beat her, her home is her own and comfortable. In other words, she has a really normal life, a good one by most measures. Does everyone have the right to up and leave a working family relationship because they feel a bit restless? Is this movie a worship of selfishness?
Or is it a reminder that life is short and you have to get to what really matters, and be with people who are truly wonderful and good, no matter what?
I can't think of a more joyous way to ask the question.
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