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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars il compleanno (David's Birthday)
It is no coincidence that we are introduced to the music of Tristan and Isolde at the beginning of this film. For just like the love triangle in the opera, we are introduced to the characters who will ultimately draw us into a most spectacular but deadly summer vacation at the Italian riviera.

We are introduced to two cosmopolitan, middle aged couples who are...
Published on November 12, 2010 by Amazon Customer

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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Soap Opera.....and, oh yes, includes a.......
.......Boiling hot M/M sex scene at its end.....with full frontal added in. (But, what did you expect.....it's Italian)

What we have here is a lush surroundings showcase for one very "hot bod".....in the form of title character, David (tall, dark, first-timer, Thyago Alves). And as the one bedeviled and bedazzled by this youthful sex god, we're given family...
Published on November 18, 2010 by JUST A REVIEWER2


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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars il compleanno (David's Birthday), November 12, 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Freehold, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: David's Birthday (DVD)
It is no coincidence that we are introduced to the music of Tristan and Isolde at the beginning of this film. For just like the love triangle in the opera, we are introduced to the characters who will ultimately draw us into a most spectacular but deadly summer vacation at the Italian riviera.

We are introduced to two cosmopolitan, middle aged couples who are going to share a house at the beach for the summer. On the surface it appears like they are all rock solidly loving couples, however each person holds secrets, lusts and pent up frustrations; which we slowly glimpse as the film progresses.

Truly, it is melodrama on a grand scale... hidden in subtle ways through out the picture. Constantly I was amazed at how the actors played characters whose passions are just hidden beneath the surface, bubbling and just waiting to explode. You can draw many character parallels to Visconte's "Death in Venice" though I would not go so far as to say this film is of the same calibre. However, the lushness and the drama is there. I was drawn in and too late did I realize that I too was on the same path as the characters, hurtling towards an cataclysmic ending. Truly, you feel as if you are a guest at this vacation house and you are seeing what the camera observes, ala Robert Altman.

It was my good fortune to see it at the Philadelphia Qfest this past summer on the big screen. Watching this film in its proper setting allows one to be swallowed into it. You can still appreciate what the director was doing as you watch the dvd. If you can appreciate Wagnerian drama, you will love this film.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Soap Opera.....and, oh yes, includes a......., November 18, 2010
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This review is from: David's Birthday (DVD)
.......Boiling hot M/M sex scene at its end.....with full frontal added in. (But, what did you expect.....it's Italian)

What we have here is a lush surroundings showcase for one very "hot bod".....in the form of title character, David (tall, dark, first-timer, Thyago Alves). And as the one bedeviled and bedazzled by this youthful sex god, we're given family man, Matteo (Massimo Poggio), a psychiatrist by trade, and a man who much of the first two-thirds of the film goes out of its way to show as being scholarly but, even more so, soulful.

This is a production much like the then well known 1950s era, Douglas Sirk directed, lush and weepy melodramas (see "Magnificent Obsession" or "All That Heaven Allows"). For a more current approach to this genre, see the Todd Haynes written/directed work, and Dennis Quaid's one foray into homosexuality: "Far From Heaven" (2002).

"David's Birthday" is also what I refer to as a "fadeaway movie," meaning it's something more usually seen from the 1940s through '70s. You know how those went; when anything sexual might begin to transpire, there was always a quick fadeaway to the next scene. For examples of that in this film, consider the following: Putting yourself into the position of a young and gorgeous Calvin Klein-type underwear model (David), you take this still hunky, but older, married man (Matteo) for a Vespa scooter ride.....his unhelmeted head winds up resting softly against your back, his arms clasped tightly around your body. And then nothing further happens for days.......UNTIL a night on the beach, when this young Adonis emerges from a moonlit swim and approaches his walking-on-the-beach "enraptured soul".....both of them then standing together for at least a minute, staring in one another's eyes. UNTIL.......you guessed it: Fadeaway.

Awarded 3-Stars, above.....but perhaps it merits another Half-Star cause I like looking at Matteo.....while most of you will likely prefer to eyeball David.

PS: For those concerned with such, my US company produced DVD provided me only non-Dolby stereo, along with color cinematography which often had a bit of a washed out appearance (perhaps I just wasn't able to achieve the proper brightness / color / hue settings).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Italian melodrama with a little too much subtlety, December 19, 2013
As another reviewer here pointed out, it's appropriate for the movie's opening scenes to show us the performance of Tristan & Isolde. Not only does it establish the theme of love the movie will explore, but it also sets the ground rules for the film's tone: melodrama. When looked at this way, it's easy to accept the film and many of the performances on those terms, particularly Poggio as Matteo. His story is mostly well-told, and it's a familiar character study and emotional territory for anyone who's seen a few gay films--it's worthy of exploration and doesn't seem overdone here.

It should be noted there is a lot of subtlety in the film to keep it from becoming an over-the-top mess. The relationships among the adults is generally handled with a light touch, such as the others' frustration with Matteo's intellectual pretentiousness.

The faults I find with the movie are the seemingly stray subplots. Why is Leonard in the film? Is he there only to serve a warning to Matteo, albeit an underdeveloped warning? What about Giuliana? While the revelation of the truth behind her lies is informative of her character, the implication for Matteo's journey isn't apparent. Likewise, Francesca's breakdown on the beach. We don't really learn why her reaction to the (unknown) drowned girl is so strong. Finally, what kind of relationship does David have with Leonard? Is it more than friend/fun uncle/surrogate father? The look the two share near the end may imply something, but it's unclear. The script leaves too many of these stray storytelling elements unexplained.

Despite the issues I've pointed out, the film is worth watching.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film of excellent dramatic tension, February 11, 2012
This review is from: David's Birthday (DVD)
A film of excellent dramatic tension, although slow to start. Four friends rent a house for a summer holiday and when, David, the son of one of the couples arrives, tensions begin to seep out into the open. Matteo, on sighting the perfection of David, has an epiphany, which undercuts all his (and others) perceptions of themselves and their futures. Acting (particularly by the gorgeous Massimo Poggio who plays Matteo)was superb; his inner struggle between his heart's desire and the life he has carved for himself from poor beginnings was powerful. The movie's direction was excellent: the slow build up of tension until the final, highly emotional denouement was perfectly timed. DAVID'S BIRTHDAY was a subtle and sensitive exploration of how our hidden passions can erupt with volcanic force.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric with fine performance by Poggio, September 1, 2011
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This review is from: David's Birthday (DVD)
This is good little drama about passion destroying a family - same theme as another gorgeous Italian film this year, I AM LOVE. This involves a happily married psychiatrist, Matteo, an intellectual, who falls in love with his best friends' son. Last seen when he was 9 years old, David is now a drop dead gorgeous model and Matteo's passion overwhelms him.

Use is made of Wagner's music to TRISTAN UND ISOLDE and the theme is the backdrop of the film's narrative. Massimo Poggio as Matteo is quite fine, using his extremely expressive face to register every shade of an all-encompassing and ever growing passion. Thyago Alves as David doesn't have much to do but stand around in speedos and look gorgeous - not much evidence of any acting talent here, but it is not much missed.

Tragic ending, as in I AM LOVE, but at least the latter ended on a note of hope. This one ends in unresolved despair. Worth seeing for Poggio's performance.

Filiberti shows more restraint as a director and writer than he did with his uneven DIARY OF A PORN STAR and he at least had the good taste NOT to cast himself in the film. His personality is an acquired taste.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blow out the candles, October 20, 2014
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An over-the-top melodramatic soap opera where David is the forbidden fruit and Matteo is the sinful soul that lusts after him.

David comes home from the states to visit his estranged parents and their best friends for an Italian summer. At first sight, Matteo is smitten by David's ravishing looks, and his like quickly grows into a lust that teeters on jealous obsession.

The movie presents Matteo as aloof and condescending, vacillating between warmth toward his family and friends and disdain for them. What isn't clear is if Matteo has always grappled with same sex attraction or if David has inspired the "sensations."

No one notices Matteo's attraction to David except David's uncle. He warns Matteo against following his self-serving impulses. The uncle also tries to remove David from the situation. But matters of the heat and the nether regions refuse to be denied. And as we expect, Matteo and David are destined - good or bad - for a head-on collision.

The last fifteen minutes of the movie are the best. A climax within a climax, the movie ends as a tragic Greek play might. And while we are sad for the characters and moved by their grief, we aren't sure what the point of the movie was.

Is it wrong to cheat?
Is it wrong to pursue what you love?
Is homosexuality wrong?
Or is it wrong within the parameters of Matteos' life?

Knowing the answers (at least the director's answers) might have made David's birthday a bit more memorable
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life Is An Opera, July 1, 2014
This review is from: David's Birthday (DVD)
***May contain spoilers***

And so it seems... the characters "becoming prey to their own impulses..." Love the tragic "operatic" ending. And Massimo Poggio who plays Matteo is one of the best good looking guys I've seen on screen. He speaks through his eyes...though I must admit he was over-the-top when he got drunk that party night.

Film has good cinematography and appropriate music. There are other subplots which may or may not move the story forward. Is there anything else going on between Uncle Leo and David?

If you love drama and sexual tension, you're gonna love this...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring., March 25, 2014
Didn't enjoy this movie at all. Yes, good looking guys but the actors should have a little more experience. I fell asleep more than once during the performance and I did rewind to see what I missed. Just made the movie terribly longer. Not worth the time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like it., January 1, 2014
By 
Leroy W. Clark (Gainesville, FL 32607) - See all my reviews
The story kept me involved until the end, but I was disappointed. The movie seemed to be leading me in one direction and then two-thirds of the way through the film, it changed direction. David was an enigma.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David's Birthday -- Enjoy!, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: David's Birthday (DVD)
I've watched this movie so many times and still love it. I can totally relate to the emotions that can come from right out of nowhere. Matteo was a loving family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, good friends, and a good career. He had everything he always needed or wanted so he thought until meeting the now grown up and sexy David. Matteo's life would never be the same again. Matteo's feelings portrayed on the screen is almost too painful to watch. Where did these feelings come from? Why now? His emotions are so strong that he almost loses it on several occasions. He is obsessed by this beautiful man named David. He has to experience this overwhelming passion at any cost. David's uncle, sensing the growing attraction between Matteo and David, tried to shield his nephew by attempting to whisk him away from this potential tragedy but David decides to stay anyway.

I can imagine David's uncle may have himself experienced this same tragic love for his late wife who died under somewhat mysterious circumstances -- was it suicide or was she murdered?

This movie is full of beautiful people, passionate scenes, and beautiful scenery. It's Italian and the director does have an unusual flair for the dramatic. It's still a movie I will watch again and again. I do enjoy it so! Let's face it....David is just so beautiful.

Also check out the following dvds: Plan B, From Beginning to End, and The Bubble -- just to name a few.
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David's Birthday
David's Birthday by Marco Filiberti (DVD - 2010)
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