L' Amico di Famiglia (The Family Friend) (Friend of the Family)
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L' Amico di Famiglia (The Family Friend) (Friend of the Family)
In writer/director Paolo Sorrentino's second feature, The Family Friend (L'Amico di Famiglia), Giacomo Rizzo stars as Geremia de Geremei, a sixtysomething tailor who lives with his mother in a disgusting and decrepit flat. Though wealthy from the money that he has culled via loan-sharking, Geremia is a thoroughly miserable wretch, driven into the throes of destruction by his own incredible selfishness and his obsessive infatuation with a beautiful local girl, Rosalba (Laura Chiatta), whom he meets when asked to assist with her wedding. Geremia agrees, but takes the bride off alone and… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"All the surface style is properly wrapped around ideas of substance."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Sorrentino is often accused of being all style and no substance, but on the contrary his films are carefully built around the contrast between surface appearances and hidden depths."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"Cuts a fine balance between the stylised and the austere."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"The entire film is subdued, but film fans who are fed up with nonstop action will love it."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"The film fails singularly to provide any character worth caring about."
‑ Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter
"For many directors this would be counted as a considerable success, but from the director of The Consequences Of Love, it seems like a disappointment. It's smart, it looks great and there are fantastic characters, but the motive power just isn't there."
‑ Sam Jordison, Film4
"A single viewing doesn't do justice to this film's singular visual imagination."
‑ Tom Dawson, BBC.com
"Whereas Tita, the protagonist of Le conseguenze dell'amore, was a gracefully desperate man, Geremia is just plain ugly."
‑ Boyd van Hoeij, european-films.net
"Paolo Sorrentino's third feature The Family Friend expands the maverick helmer's singular vision, though this time he's crafted a more complex world to illustrate his philosophy: everyone steals, and everyone is unhappy."
‑ Jay Weissberg, Variety
"Wrangling the characters in vividly coloured tableaux, he dazzles the viewer with an array of enigmatic images."
‑ Tom Dawson, Total Film
"Artistically, this scathing assault on human frailty couldn't be more accomplished. But there's something mechanical about the central characters' cynicism and their ultimate abasement."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine