Vita coi figli [Life With Children] (1990) - The Birth of Monica Bellucci: Actress April 2, 2018 00:03
While models transitioning into acting is now a common and natural career evolution few have found as much international success in both formats as Monica Bellucci. Building a career, that at it's peak, was likely the closest actress the film industry had to a modern day Brigitte Bardot. Of course known for her roles in the early 2000's like Malèna, and the two Matrix sequels, Monica Bellucci was steaming up the screen in Italy long before she came to Hollywood.
Vita coi figli (Living With Children) is a two part Italian TV miniseries, which stars a few recognizable actors. Giancarlo Giannini (Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace) is the lead character Adriano, a recently widowed father of five who finds himself overwhelmed when he's left to be father and mother to a group of kids whose lives he had taken very little interest in prior. He turns to his wife's close friend (who had survived the accident that killed his wife) Valeria (Moonraker Bond Girl, Corinne Cleary) but he doesn't seem to find much comfort in her presence. It's not until he meets Elda (Monica Bellucci) a young and attractive flight attendant that his life truly turns upside down.
It's not until forty-five minutes into Part 1 of the mini-series that Bellucci makes an appearance, her character jumps into Adriano's car during a rain storm and bums a ride home without even knowing who he is. That's certainly not an everyday occurrence, beautiful women jumping into strangers cars... well at least it's not usually a legal occurrence. So while things are beginning to spiral out of control with his children Adriano is finding a renewed burst of youth in his unconventional relationship with a girl whose about the age of his oldest son.
It's a relationship that appears to be working nicely for a while until Adriano's continue disregard for his children begins to catch up with him, and Elda realizes the age difference isn't going to work. In the final quarter of the film Adriano finds himself being avoided by Elda, eventually he learns the relationship is over but who Elda replaced him with is an interesting final twist to the story.
Ultimately Vita coi figli is the story of one man dealing with an unexpected series of events, discovering his youth once again with a much younger woman, finally coming to grips with his age, and his realization of his failure as a father. For a two part mini-series completely in Italian (except for the theme song, which I thought was odd) Vita coi figli was a nice surprise, it's nothing exceptional but it manages to stay moderately interesting even though the plot is far from ground breaking. Monica Bellucci is breathtaking, and it's interesting to see that her first on screen role essentially was the basis for the proactive roles she'd be known for taking on most of her career. From day one she decided to follow the motto "if you've got it, flaunt it."