I was hunting for this movie for a long time. I am a big fan of Jean Reno and had seen the movie previously on VHS, but forgot the title and therefore had some problems tracking it down on DVD. All this was not in vain â€“ the movie was as wonderful and sweet as I remembered it. It’s very difficult to define its genre – it’s a cocktail of comedy and drama, mixed together almost equally.
The story seems to be a bit macabre from the first glance â€“ Marcello (Jean Reno), the owner of a small restaurant in a sleepy little town somewhere in Italy, has promised his dying wife Roseanna (Mercedes Ruehl) that he will bury her in the old town cemetery upon her death, so she could be together with their only little daughter, who died a long time ago. Unfortunately, there are only very few plots left in the old cemetery and it can not be expanded, because the owner of the adjacent land is refusing to sell a parcel of it to accommodate the extension (mostly out of spite to Marcello, which makes negotiations even more difficult).
The cast is very good, Jean Reno and Mercedes Ruehl are very natural and endearing in their roles of a loving husband and wife, who, in all the tragedy that has befallen them, still had not forgotten how to live and love and enjoy the life, whenever they can, while it lasts. I liked the supporting actors – Polly Walker in the role of Cecilia, Roseannaâ€™s independent, strong-willed sister, who is falling in love with Antonio (Mark Frankel), the nephew of Marcelloâ€™s worst enemy, even as Roseanna is trying to do some matchmaking for her and Marcello, for that time when sheâ€™ll be gone. Sadly, I believe this was the last movie for Mark Frankel, who did in a car accident shortly after the movie was released.
The rest of the cast even in the smallest roles are adding very much to the very romantic and very Italian atmosphere of the movie. They all even speak with the accent (which might be uncomfortable for some viewers, though I personally thought itâ€™s a nice touch!).
The DVD extra features are very few â€“ a theatrical trailer, plus New Line promotional trailers and a DVD-ROM with the links to the New Line promotions.