Its interest in LGBT-related themes aside, Drive Me Home also turns Antonio and Agostino’s relationship into an allegory about globalization. Catania associates the initial frostiness between Antonio and Agostino with a hyper-modernized and urbanized society in which people lack any definite sense of purpose or identity. Antonio and Agostino’s more intimate moments, meanwhile, are associated with Sicily, which is depicted as a remote rural paradise where human connection is prized over economic and technological progress.
It would be unfair to say that Drive Me Home is a bad film. The film mostly makes for a pleasant watch, and even though it hews to many tropes of the road trip genre, it has enough narrative twists that it’s never completely predictable. Moreover, Catania deserves some kind of praise for his sincere interest in issues like globalization and sexuality. That sincerity is enough that the movie may even leave you somewhat touched.
“…sincere interest in issues like globalization and sexuality.”
Ultimately, however, this is a film that you’ll forget about instantly. The main reason why Drive Me Home won’t last longer in your memory than its credits is that the film often feels rather superficial. For all his earnestness, Catania frequently falls back on what you could call “arthouse film clichés” – masculine men who can’t express emotions, impersonal urban zones with overcast skies, and so on. Far from interrogating or fleshing out these clichés, Catania accepts them at face value, and even as you appreciate his sincerity, you’ll likely find his direction to be somewhat obvious.
Normally, I’d say something here about how the actors redeem or save the film. But in this case, that doesn’t quite hold true. Marchioni and D’Amore press all the right buttons, to be sure. They act emotionally repressed for most of the film, launch into angry monologues when the narrative demands it, and eventually reveal vulnerability during their characters’ final reconciliation. But there’s nothing in their acting that surprises you. Their performances are good but uninspired. That description could just as easily apply to Drive Me Home as a whole.
"…Ultimately, however, this is a film that you’ll forget about almost instantly."