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Italian for Beginners | 2002 | R | - 4.4.5

The sole source of joy for several lonely and despairing people from a small Danish town is their weekly Italian language class at the local community college. As the class progresses romance blossoms among six of the students. This romantic comedy was filmed according to the Dogme 95 principles (i.e. real locations, natural light, etc.). With Anders W. Berthelsen, Peter Gantzler, Sara Indrio Jensen, Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Lars Kaalund and Anette Støvelbæk. In Danish and Italian with English subtitles. [1:39]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and woman kiss passionately, the woman grabs his buttocks, they lie back on a table kissing, he takes off his shirt, and she begins to unbutton his pants. A man and woman go into an alley where they find a cot, which they unfold and cover with her coat and it is suggested that they have sex. A man talks about being impotent and that he has not slept with a woman for 4 years. A man and woman kiss and a man and woman hug a couple of times. A woman washes a man's hair and massages his head suggestively. A man flirts with a woman, and a woman touches a man's face tenderly. A woman wears clothing that reveals her cleavage and thighs, and a man is swimming and we see his bare chest. A woman talks about her daughter "fondling strangers' heads." There are references to masturbation.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - We see an elderly woman who is suffering from an infected pancreas and she moans and begs for more pain medication. A man is very rude to everyone; he yells at and insults customers in a restaurant, and another man accuses him of having poured milk in a woman's purse. A man yells at and is abusive to his daughter, and a woman yells at and is abusive to her daughter. A man threatens to castrate a man. A woman sprays her daughter with water and yells at her. A woman says she was in jail for having committed a robbery and for using heroin. A man's wife has died and people talk about her and we see him suffering from the loss, another man's wife has died and he talks about the pain he suffers. A man grabs his chest and falls to the floor and we hear that he has died, a woman increases her mother's dose of morphine and we hear that she has died, and a man sitting in an armchair is dead (his eyes are open). There is a discussion about a pastor having pushed an organist off the balcony of a church -- the man suffered damage to his spleen. There are several funerals. A woman drops a large tray of pastries on the floor. A woman remarks that there is saliva on a pulpit because a preacher spits while preaching.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 3 F-words, 1 scatological term, 8 mild obscenities, 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman is shown smoking cigarettes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death, grief, euthanasia, impotence, love, lack of joy, loneliness, fetal alcohol syndrome, schizophrenia, Catholicism, God.

MESSAGE - Everyone has the right to find love and happiness, somewhere, somehow.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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