As Sandro is about to leave with his family in tow, Penelope convinces him to stay in hopes that the conflict and differences between the two families will break up the wedding. And off we go.
An Almost Ordinary Summer combines the comedic tone of a U.S. network sitcom with the light drama of a U.S. network melodrama, like Parenthood. And it works. You’re going to laugh as the class warfare begins, and homophobia slowly creeps out of everyone and all at the wrong time. There’s a brilliant moment of slapstick with the kids and fireworks as Toni is nude sunbathing to remove his tan lines for the wedding.
There to undercut the comedy are amazingly touching moments as Penelope (who is the main storyline) understands why Toni and Carlo are in love and how she has to deal with her issues of the never-present Toni as her father.
“As wacky as each character is, the individual performances are well-grounded allowing us to connect with each actor.”
The entire cast is also brilliant. As wacky as each character is, the individual performances are well-grounded, allowing us to connect with each actor. Like an excellent broad comedy, we know these people. They are either family members or people with whom we spend way too much time.
The breakout stars are Jasmine Trinca and Alessandro Gassman as Penelope and Carlo, respectively. They are the foundation of the film. As Carlo, Gassman makes you understand why his relationship with Toni exists in the first place. As the progressive, always marching, Penelope, Trinca slowly reveals the one and only legitimate reason this wedding should not take place.
I’ve described An Almost Ordinary Summer as a sitcom. This is not an insult in the sense that it brilliantly balances the comedy and drama, while not allowing itself to become overly wacky or schmaltzy. You’ll laugh and love, while at the same time want to follow the exploits of these two families over another season.
An Almost Ordinary Summer screened at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
"…Penelope slowly reveals the one and only legitimate reason this wedding should not take place."