Bread and Tulips

Bomb Rating: 

I'm not exactly sure what Rosalba was expecting out of life, but I've got news for her: Life is pretty boring.

This is a dopey Italian film about a married woman whose family forgets her at a bus station while they're all on vacation. This prompts her to disappear to Venice for a while in search of some meaning in her life and maybe some family members who aren't dumb enough to leave her at a bus station.

Rosalba (Licia Maglietta) has two kids, a husband who's a plumbing supply salesman, and no apparent job other than housewife. When she gets left at the bus station, it's her signal that she's underappreciated and perhaps her life isn't what it could be. While in Venice, she shacks up with a lonely waiter, Fernando (Bruno Ganz), who's just about to hang himself. The woman across the hall is a New Age masseuse and general weirdo. Rosalba gets a job in a flower shop with a strange old guy and rediscovers her love for playing the accordion.

Unfortunately, this secret refuge in Venice where all the neighbors benefit from the explorations of the disaffected only exists in the movies. In real life, you're apt to be cut up into small pieces by the strange older guy and passed out to the neighborhood kids as a chewy Halloween treat. The funny neighbor lady is apt to collect her armpit shavings in a sardine can. Most of the time, the search for that new life ends up in appreciation for the old one.

I'm not exactly sure what Rosalba was expecting out of life, but I've got news for her: Life is pretty boring. Married life can be even worse. Sure, the sex is great early on, but then comes the nagging, the kids, the farting in bed, the incontinence, and then the many long years of having to take care of an invalid with the intellectual capacity of a sock monkey. Why don't women understand that there's no obligation to get married or to stay at home? If you don't want to be dragged down by the smelly, blubbering mass that is aging maleness, don't get married -- it's that simple. You don't have to do everything society demands of you. It's not mandatory. You're not a sheep. You're a human being.

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