Francesca Archibugi’s drama, “Questione di Cuore” [Eng. Title: A Question of the Heart] is a breezy comedy about friendship and mortality. As entertaining and well-written the script is, what sticks in my mind though are the charming images of common-man’s Rome where the film is set – a city and its people that I’d always loved visiting, and where I want to go again now.
Angelo, a car mechanic and Alberto, a film script-writer meet as inpatients at a hospital ward – both had suffered a heart attack. They strike up an unlikely but close friendship during their stay, sharing each others dreams and fears. While Alberto recovers early, it isn’t the case with Angelo whose weaker heart is attributed to heredity. Angelo had worked hard to provide for his family – his mother, wife Rossana and their two kids, with one more on the way. He worries about leaving his wife an unhappy widow, and desperately tries to make arrangements in view of his impending death. There is also a joking comparison by Alberto to the Odyssey during a passage of play after Angelo tries awkwardly to make his friend Rossana’s suitor. To the film’s credit, it doesn’t descend into farce or cheesy melodrama – it ends in the most apt manner.
Ms. Archibugi has made a typical but way above average mainstream film here – and although I have seen only one other film of hers to date (Lezioni di Volo), I do like her style of film making. They are usually packed with a constellation of well known stars, more so in this film where additional cine personalities have walk-ins as themselves, Alberto being the well known script-writer. Actors playing the main characters – Kim Rossi Stuart as Angelo, Antonio Albanese as Alberto, and Micaela Ramazzotti who plays Angelo’s wife Rossana give a fine account of themselves, as does Francesca Inaudi who plays Alberto’s estranged girlfriend Carla, although hers is possibly the least developed character among all. Nevertheless, for an entertaining and thoughtful piece of cinema, this one is Recommended Viewing.