Title: The Lonely Italian
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Lee Farber
Starring: Domenico Nesci, Mark Chuakay
Runtime: 1 hr 23 min
What It Is: Part documentary, part scripted story, The Lonely Italian explores the ever-growing industry of online dating, with real dates intertwined within a fictional story. We’re introduced to the titular lonely Italian (Nesci) as the film opens. Explaining that attention from the opposite sex has long dried up due to his (by his own admission) trashy MTV show coming to an end. With his fifteen minutes of fame expired, he joins every online dating site in America, with the help of friend Marquesa (Chuakay), in the search for love.
What We Think: Neither funny or insightful into unfamiliar territory, The Lonely Italian plays out like a compilation prank show, rather than a fluid film. So-called real scenarios feel contrived, with Nesci deliberately pushing buttons to provoke a hostile reaction. A tacked-on, predictable fictional story also falls flat, with a futile attempt to redeem its lead. Mistaking sheer volume for comedic timing, Nesci is not only a tiresome stereotype but spends the majority of the film either shouting hysterically or goading the women sat opposite him.
Audiences are likely to have experienced a disastrous date, or have been on the listening end of a conversation with friends discussing a catastrophic night before. All of which are probably more amusing (and of course more authentic) than anything portrayed on screen.
Our Grade: F, The Lonely Italian fails to live up to its intriguing premise, lacking the substance of a documentary and the joy of a comedy. Aiming to emulate Sacha Baron Cohen’s fluctuating work, director Farber misses the mark completely.