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The Salt of Life

17 customer reviews

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The Salt of Life + Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto) + The Orange Thief
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Editorial Reviews

In his warm and witty follow-up to the 2010 hit Mid-August Lunch, writer-director-actor Gianni Di Gregorio has created another sparkling comedy with a dash of bittersweet. In The Salt of Life, Gianni plays a middle-aged retiree who has become invisible to all the women of Rome, regardless of age or relation. He contends with a demanding mother (played by Lunch s great nonagenarian Valeria de Franciscis); a patronizing wife; a slacker daughter; and a wild party-girl neighbor who uses him... as a dog walker. Watching his codger friends snare beautiful young girlfriends on the sun-kissed cobblestones of Trastevere, Gianni tries his polite, utterly gracious best to generate some kind of extracurricular love life with both hilarious and poignant results.

DVD Special Features Include:
Gorgeous HD master, enhanced for widescreen viewing
30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage
U.S. theatrical trailer

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gianni Di Gregorio, Valeria de Franciscis, Alfonso Santagata
  • Directors: Gianni Di Gregorio
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008A1AKK6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,913 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Harbour on February 12, 2012
Format: DVD
Forced to retire at 50, Gianni finds himself unnecessary in his wife's and daughter's lives (though there's obvious affection, and the little we see of his relationship with his wife has the comfortableness of long companionship). And he is perpetually at his mother's beck and call despite her having a full time caregiver. One of Gianni's friends brings to his attention some of the other older men who area carrying on affairs with younger women and begins encouraging him to pursue his own affair with a younger woman - any younger woman.

Gianni begins to notice attractive young women everywhere - almost as though surrounded by them (at one point, he is). These beauties, though, almost seem to live in a world where he is a ghost; observing them while he goes unnoticed. He also begins noting a separate world of old men, unconnected to a life with women and fears becoming one of them. He makes awkward attempts with a few of the attractive young women who are aware of him, tries to rekindle an old flame, and gets shanghaied to be "wingman" on an attempted double-pickup. Many of the women are unselfconsciously beautiful and charming. Others, simply capitalize on their good looks to encourage older men to spend money on them.

The humor is mostly gentle, and often subtle, relying on lingering moments and tiny shifts of posture and gaze.

"The Salt of Life" reveals a bit of the difference between the life we have vs. the life we imagine we could have and how they are reconciled (or not).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2012
Format: DVD
You may recall that a few years back Gianni Di Gregorio scored an unexpected hit (big in EUrope, modest in the US) with his directorial debut "Mid-August Lunch", in which he is forced to entertain his 93 yr. old mother and her friends. The success of the movie encouraged De Gregario to now come back with this movie, which is not a sequel as such to "Mid-August Lunch", but it does feature a number of the same characters, including of course Gianni and his now 95 yr. old (fictional) mother.

In "The Salt of Life" (original Italian title "Gianni and the Ladies"; 2011 release from Italy; 90 min.), Gianni finds himself, at age 60 and being a pensioner, becoming invisible to the opposite sex, and his friend Alfonso is determined to help Gianni find romance again. Meanwhile Gianni must deal with his mom, who calls him frequently when she is sick (real or imagined) or needs help in some way. Gianni's wife and daugther (played by Gianni's real life daughter), along with her slacker boyfriend, are around as well, causing yet more headaches and problems for Gianni. There is no major "plot" to speak of, the beauty of the movie is to watch Gianni react to the situations around him, making observations about ageing and wanting to find new meaning (and romance) in life. There are a number of laugh-out-loud scenes in the movie, but the overall tone is more bittersweet than funny. Please note there are a couple of nice extras on the DVD, including a pleasant 20 min. "Behind the Scenes" documentary, giving glimpses in the complicated movie-making process, even for such a 'simple' film as this one, as well as an interview with lead actor/writer/director Di Gregorio.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CARLOS ROMERO on January 4, 2013
Format: DVD
In "Gianni e le donne" ("The Salt of Life") from 2011 and directed by Gianni di Gregorio, we have a bittersweet tale in the life of an aging retiree who thinks he's lost his spark to attract the opposite sex. 'Gianni' (Gianni di Gregorio) is an easy-going and very mild-tempered 60 year-old who lives with his wife (whom he respects, but is obviously no longer intimate with), his daughter (she's always asking him for advise with her relationship), and her live-in boyfriend. And his elderly mother is constantly calling him to do one thing or another for her! He also has an attractive young neighbor whose life is an endless party and he heartily agrees to walk her Saint-Bernard. In short: 'Gianni' is a nice guy who helps everyone out but is somehow feeling empty. His friend 'Alfonso the lawyer' suggests he take a mistress, but 'Gianni' confesses that he's become transparent to women, or so he thinks. 'Gianni' is basically playing his real-life self and so is the rest of the cast: Valeria de Franciscis, Alfonso Santagata, Elisabetta Piccolomini, Valeria Cavalli, Aylin Prandi, Kristina Cepraga, Michelangelo Ciminale, Teresa di Gregorio, Grabiella Sborgi, etc., etc. The women were voluptuously beautiful and very nicely represented a cross-section of the Roman type. This is a great comedy that is looking at life in a very light and positive way. The title of the film in Italian really translates as: "Gianni and the Women". However, none of the women in the film are seduced or taken advantage of, by 'Gianni'. There is none of the male clichés or motifs associated with earlier Italian films. It's also free of the cynicism and sarcasm of so many similarly related films too.Read more ›
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