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A Mikado Film release (in Italy) of a Fandango/RAI Cinemafiction production. (International sales: RAI Trade, Rome.) Produced by Domenico Procacci. RAI producers, Francesco Nardella, Anouk Andaloro. Executive producer, Antonello Grimaldi.

Directed by Gabriele Muccino. Screenplay, Nicola Alvau, Andrea Garello, Muccino; story, Muccino. Camera (Augustus color), Arnaldo Catinari; editor, Claudio Di Mauro; music, Paolo Buonvino; art director, Eugenia F. Di Napoli; costume designer, Antonella Cannarozzi; sound (Dolby), Mario Iaquone; line producer, Gianluca Arcopinto; casting, Fabiola Banzi. Reviewed at Quattro Fontane Cinema, Rome, Nov. 16, 1998. (In Turin Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 86 MIN.

Matteo            Giorgio Pasotti
Margherita       Barbora Bobulova
Piterone       Claudio Santamaria
Floriana          Ginevra Colonna
Paolo           Enrico Silvestrin

With: Mauro Marino, Stefano Abbati, Gigio Alberti, Piero Natoli, Blas Roca Rey, Anita Laurenzi, Gianluca Arcopinto, Antonello Grimaldi, Sergio Rubini.

A breezy romantic comedy that grows progressively darker as it investigates the perils of possessiveness and jealousy in a relationship, "That's It" marks a confident move into features for TV and docu-director Gabriele Muccino, whose credits include a long stint helming pubcaster RAI's hit soap "A Place in the Sun." Edited and shot with agility and rhythm and performed with freshness by an attractive cast, the film should appeal to lovestruck teens and twentysomething Italians and perhaps score some Euro sales as fodder for the same demographic.

Lingering over his final high school term without much hope of graduating, Matteo (Giorgio Pasotti) encounters a further distraction from his studies in independent-minded Margherita (Barbora Bobulova), an artist two or three years his senior. Their romance blossoms quickly, and he moves into her studio

apartment, where he soon starts stumbling over evidence of her romantic past. Matteo increasingly suspects Margherita of being unfaithful, his doubts transforming into obsessive paranoia and seriously jeopardizing the relationship.

Like many accounts of youthful passion, this story at times takes itself too seriously, and could have benefited from more generous helpings of humor. But the tone mostly remains light and agreeable thanks in part to the sparky presence of Matteo's fast-talking chum Piterone (Claudio Santamaria), who imagines himself to be much more worldly and beguiling to women than he is. The duo's efforts to doctor their dismal school grades punctuate the central relationship's spiral of jealous angst, which unfolds as recounted by Matteo and Piterone to the customers in a launderette.

Newcomer Pasotti makes an engaging lead, and Santamada ("Besieged") also shines among the generally buoyant young cast. Seasoned thesps making brief, amusing appearances include Anita Laurenzi, Piero Natoli and Sergio Rubini. Following his work on recent hit "Radio Freccia," d.p. Arnaldo Catinari again proves his talent for snappy, energized visuals, and the Gypsy-style strings of Paolo Buonvino's score provide a sweetly derisive commentary to the action.

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Date:Dec 7, 1998
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