Can a man and a woman have a platonic friendship?
This has been explored in so many movies including When Harry Met Sally, and Una donna per amica (A Woman as a Friend) attempts to explore this perennial issue as well. In this drama-rom-com, Francesco (Fabio De Luigi) and Claudia (Laetitia Casta) are good friends whose silliness seems unbelievable, especially as Francesco is a respected lawyer in town and Claudia is supposedly a vet. When Claudia meets Gio (Adrianno Giannini), she falls head over heels for him and wants to marry him after just seven days. It’s just her character – wild, carefree and almost juvenile – we, the audience, have just to accept this without asking. So, when Claudia suddenly calls Francesco and confides in him about Gio’s violence, Francesco willingly accepts Claudia to live with him, even when he is in the process of building a relationship with Lia (Valentina Lodovini).
This movie goes all over the place with the story and it seems that the director – Giovanni Veronesi – is unsure whether to make a light rom-com, or something with more substance. The inclusion of domestic violence into the storyline is a bit baffling as it seems rather than highlighting the issue seriously, the movie is treating this as a trivial ingredient. As much as I want to empathise with Francesco or Claudia, I felt like bapping their head and asking them to grow up. Francesco seems like a boy trapped in a man’s body, whereas Claudia is more like a manipulative spoilt brat. Laetitia Casta is stunning in the movie, but my enjoyment of her character stops there.
Maybe I have outgrown my fondness of rom-coms – or maybe, because I have seen some good ones, I expect more from the movies that I watch now. Too many messy and loose storylines that should have been tightened and tidied better. This would have made Una donna per amica a much more enjoyable experience.