The Lonely Italian

Italian comedian Domenico Nesci looks for love by joining virtually every online dating site possible. The dates are real, caught on film, and the results are uncomfortable hilarity in director Lee Farber’s The Lonely Italian.

Let’s just say what The Lonely Italian is. It’s a series of real-life bits or “dates” featuring Nesci going for the jugular with his over-the-top antics against his unsuspecting date. I found fascinating Nesci’s ability to be both rude and likable at the same time. He expertly walks that line very close to the edge. Rarely are these bits mean-spirited, just uncomfortably honest. Memorable moments include bringing a meat appetizer on a vegan date or being forced to translate the phrase “daughter-in-law” for an overly desperate young lady.

“Italian comedian Domenico Nesci looks for love by joining virtually every online dating site possible.”

Farber and Nesci wisely intertwine the dates with something I’ll call a storyline. Nesci starts his search for love going on typical compatibility sites, like OK Cupid and eHarmony. He then plays dating roulette with Tinder and finally goes to specialty sites like J-Date, Farmers Only and 420 Dating. While many of the dates are played for laughs, Nesci probes his dates for personal insight into being online and finding love.

The film also enlists the help of experts in love, online dating, tantric sex and religious leaders. Nesci talks with a dating coach, who turns into the ultimate narcissist from word one. Later, Nesci gets a well-deserved tongue-lashing from a local rabbi, who questions his motivation for this film in the first place. It’s quite brutal but poignant.

“…Nesci probes his dates for personal insight into being online and finding love.”

The Lonely Italian succeeds in many ways. It’s more than an Ali G ripoff of uncomfortable gags at the expense of unwitting victims. It is a solid film with a decent narrative story to string the gags together. While Domenico Nesci is not for everyone, stick with it. The Lonely Italian not only goes for the laugh but it has something to say as well.

The Lonely Italian (2017) Directed by Lee Farber. Written by Lee Farber and Domenico Nesci. Starring Domenico Nesci and Mark Chuakay.

4 out of 5

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