Primo Disgustingo

by Tim Dodd on August 18, 2005

in Uncategorized

Hit your man over the head and EAT A HAMBURGER!!!

Vittorio bathes his reptilian spawn

What a sick movie.
That’s pretty much all I could think of while watching Strand Releasing’s newest piece of European DVD trash that provides its viewers with many of those primal exploitation elements we all know and love but offers them in a way that is, to quote one of my favorite Stooges songs, NO FUN.
This latest bit of cinematic excrement is Matteo Garrone’s Primo Amore, a film that somehow tries to romanticize extreme control, sick psychological problems, dangerous eating disorders, and emotional violence. Sure, the film’s press release claims that it is “a cautionary tale,” but after watching it I’m pretty convinced that this movie exists just to titillate some sick suckers out there who love to see nude ladies romping around with their ribs poking out from under their pasty white emaciated skin.
The plot of this wacky film is the kind that makes me want to seal all the windows, turn on the gas, and watch The Cosby Show until my eyes grow heavy with peaceful, eternal sleep. It goes a little somethin’ like this: Vittorio (Vitaliano Trevisan) is a bald, older guy who meets young, pretty Sonia (Michela Cescon) through a personal ad and immediately tells her that she’s fat. Desperate for love and companionship, Sonia begins a relationship with Vittorio, who immediately starts controlling her by making her go on a diet.
Sonia isn’t fat in the least, but Vittorio has some screws loose in his big melon head and he apparently wants her to be like all of the pasty white toothpick women who entertain us in many excellent movies and television shows. Sonia gets sucked into the whole deal, happily restricting her intake of food and charting her progress/decline on a chart. Well, a few pounds isn’t enough for Vittorio, and as he makes her lose more and more weight, both go totally insane and their already unhealthy relationship becomes positively diabolical.
I’m at times a “glass half full” kinda guy, so I’ll give you a few positives on this dungheap. The acting is good, the dialogue is competently written, and there are some striking images found throughout the film. Sonia’s transformation from normal to ultra-thin is convincingly executed and I give mad props to Michela Cescon for going on whatever extreme diet she had to go on in order to make this change. But honey, was it all really worth it?
My main problem with this movie is that it’s just not very believable that the young, attractive Sonia would go through all of this for Vittorio, who’s dull, lacks charisma, and is actually a dick. I know that many women get themselves into abusive relationships that they can’t pull themselves out of, so perhaps my view is naive. Still, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. The press release states that it is based on a true story, so I guess that the truth really is stranger than fiction… and it’s also proof that the truth doesn’t necessarily make for a good movie.
So you wanna make a movie about obsessive love that serves as a cautionary tale? Make a self-help video, not a feature film that passes itself as entertainment. However, if you’re the kind of person that sees the words “Obsessive Love, Sexual Fixation, Dieting to the Extreme!” and goes “Wow! That’s exactly what I need!”, then by all means, go rent Primo Amore. Just keep your sick-shit-lovin’ ass the hell away from me.

Primo Amore (2005)
Strand Releasing
Directed by Matteo Garrone
Starring Vitaliano Trevisan and Michela Cescon
Not Rated

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