The Italian summer movie is a genre in and of itself. Even if the films isn’t actually set during summer, any Italian feature can potentially be released a summer film during this particular season. The cadence of Italian speech and the sigh of picturesque little streets are enough to bring out that vacation feeling.
Now, Gabriele Muccino (A Casa Tutti Benni) presents a 40 year-long friendship, encompassing several layers of society. From 1984 on we follow Giulio, Paolo and Riccardo. As teenagers, they swim together and build tree houses. They become a high school teacher, an impoverished actor and journalist and a lawyer to shady businessmen, respectively.
Muccino has assembled three prominent Italian actors to portray these characters, but it’s actress Micaela Ramazzotti’s performance that manages to establish the most intriguing character of the film.
Even if Gli anni più belli isn’t neccesarily set in summer, it still ticks off all the boxes of an Italian summer film, bolstered by ambition that are reminiscent of La meglio gioventù (2003) – Gli anni più belli also incorportates the world history of the past few decades, including the fall of the Berlin wall and 9/11. After its premiere, the film became a sizeable hit in its home country.