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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

Mascarpone ****

Starring: Giancarlo Commare, Gianmarco Saurino, Carlo Calderone, Michela Giraud, Eduardo Valdarnini

Directors: Alessandro Guida, Matteo Pilati

Country: Italy

Antonio (Commare) has spent his whole adult life with husband Lorenzo (Calderone), but when they unexpectedly split he has to find a new apartment and a job. He stays with Denis (Valdarnini), a free-spirited and promiscuous drug-dealer, who sets out to show him how fun single life can be. He starts working in a patisserie, starts sleeping with his boss (Saurino) and slowly discovers a sex positive identity along the way.

A fun and smart comedy-drama, this is an astute twenty-first century portrait of being a single gay man. Antonio first sees this life as something alien and a little distasteful having never experienced anything like it, but the film follows him from aversion toward Denis to fully assuming his identity. On the one hand, you can see this journey as one of emancipated liberation, or on the other, it could be one of the inevitable disintegration of personal resolve.

If anything, this is a depiction of a personal awakening. Antonio is a bored househusband before, spending his husband’s money on inconsequential whims. It’s hardly surprising that Lorenzo is no longer fulfilled by their life together. He’s never had to stand on his own feet, but with the rug pulled out beneath him, the thirty year-old is forced to discover how we really feels about himself before he can even think about falling in love again.

The script is sharp, with repeated dialogue used to show character development. It looks luscious, with beautifully composed art direction and editing that finds the balance between sexy and clever. Its characters feel rounded and real, with each given enough screen time to develop far beyond their function. Even some of Antonio’s hook-ups become vivid characters, which is saying something considering how many pass through his door!

Less a rom-com, more a belated coming-of-age story, this is a film that lives up to its title. Rich, succulent and delicious, Mascarpone is a tasty treat, both on your plate and on screen.

UK Release: 28th November 2022 on VOD and DVD, released by Peccadillo Pictures


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