On Sunday morning I managed to go for a jog in a park nearby my parents' house. 'La Villa Floridiana' is a park that is very dear to me. It is a beautiful woodland of mythological beauty, full of neoclassical statues and overlooking the stunning Neapolitan gulf. When I was growing up we used to dream we lived in the refined Baroqueske villa (now housing a prestigious museum of ceramics), played football, lied on the warm grass on the spring days, gazed at the breathtaking panorama as muses, poets and artists inspired our young minds. It was always my gateway (often my 'runaway') place. It was often our gateway from school too! Whenever we used to bunk off school, 'fare filone' as we say, it is mostly the Floridiana we would be hiding in.. As I was running around on Sunday morning I was constantly distracted by a flood of memories. My first 'proper' boyfriend, Stefano, a real teen-age gentleman, who kissed my fingers better when I cut myself picking hollies for the Christmas play when we were 11. My first kiss; my first date. Holding hands walking around the park, sitting on the bench under the shadow of the big oak tree as he, looking into my eyes, pays me complements carry in my heart to this day..As I was trying to run, I was drown to think of a time when things were good, life was easy, the sun was shining most days. My childhood and early teens have been very happy and I never knew how to be thankful enough for it back then. I was talking to a friend yesterday, ironically walking around a park,and we jokingly reminisced about how sure we used to be of things when we were teenagers. Like stubbornly believing we were the ones who had the answers, who knew what love, I mean "real Love", is. Then we grow up, take responsibility, become less cocky and less confident. We laugh about teenage strops and moods, yet secretly wish we could go back in time, knew then what we know now and still have that waist line! I first watched "L'Ultimo Bacio", The Last Kiss, by Gabriele Muccino (The Persuit of Happyness) when I was 15. Somehow it became an instant iconic movie for my generation and its soundtrack was immediately adopted as the soundtrack of our lives. It is bizarre, however, how it was only years later that those concepts, images and words became truly relevant to our lives. In the movie Carlo (Stefano Accorsi) is a twenty-nine-year-old man who works in an advertisement business and has been living with his girlfriend Giulia (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) for three years. When she gets pregnant and he meets the stunning eighteen-year-old Francesca (Martina Stella), his relationship with Giulia moves into a crisis, since he is not ready to reach adulthood. Francesca has a crush on Carlo and dreams of him. His three best friends also have problems with their partners: Adriano (Giorgio Pasotti) has just had a son and has problems with taking the responsibilities of fatherhood, while his wife Livia (Sabrina Impacciatore) becomes very connected to the baby, neglecting their marriage; Alberto (Marco Cocci) has no ties with any woman, limiting to use them sexually; and Paolo (Claudio Santamaria) has a obsession for his former lover. Meanwhile, Giulia's mother, Anna, (Stefania Sandrelli) has a middle-age crisis, jeopardizing her marriage..living in the shadow of times long gone. Eventually their turmoils are quietened down by an unexpected sense of contentment. Growing up is part of life and accepting the passing of time can reserve for us wonderful surprises related to our new age besides arthritis, wobbly knees and wrinkles! So, here is to GROWING OLD!
L'ultimo Bacio, Carmen Consoli