Italian for Beginners Movie Review 2001

Information and Film Reviews for Italian for Beginners the Movie

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Director Scherfig is the first woman to use the strict Dogma 95 filmmaking rules (hand-held cameras, natural light, live music, no studios scenes, no costumes, and no special effects) of her Danish colleagues. She's also the first to try to do a romantic comedy in the Dogma style, and she pulls it off nicely. Her tale brings together six quirky lonelyhearts: Andreas (Berthlesen), newly widowed minister; Hall-Finn (Kaalund), a soccer-obsessed restaurant manager; his best friend Jorgen (Gantzler), who's convinced he's impotent; Olympia (Stovelbaek), who likes Andreas and cares for her abusive, ill father; Karen (Jorgensen) who cuts Hal-Finn's hair and cares for her alcoholic shrew of a mother; and Giulia (Jensen), an Italian waitress with a crush on Jorgen, in a Conversational Italian class. The seemingly lightweight plot is anchored by insight into everyday misery and hurt amid the giddy matchmaking and likeable characters.


Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-1120, Toll-free: 800-723-4763, URL:

Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 112 minutes.
Originally from Danish.

Cast and Crew

Romantic Comedy, Italy, Grand Hotel
Lone Scherfig
Anders W. Berthelsen, Peter Gantzler, Anette Stovelbaek, Ann Eleonora Jorgensen, Lars Kaalund, Sara Indrio Jensen
Jorgen Johansson
Lone Scherfig
Rune Palving, Gerd Tjur
Ib Tardini, Miramax Films

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