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:: Manual Of Love (Manuale d'amore)

The Manual of Love (Manuale D’Amore) is a contemporary portrayal of four phases of love. The story is told using the classic Italian comedic film technique where four interconnected vignettes are shown, each serving an individual purpose, which then collectively come full circle through a fictional novel – The Manual of Love.

Each plot contains a different element of love, life and relationships which formulate various chapters of the manual: Falling in Love, The Breakdown, The Affair and finally (not to mention quite possibly the story with the most depth, thanks to renowned Italian actor, Carlo Verdone), Abandonment.

With a good combination of humour, romance and great depiction of human nature there are many elements in the film that almost everyone can relate to. This large allowance for empathy makes it easy to watch and it isn’t long before you understand how it became such a sell out hit at the 2005 Italian Film festival.

Emotions run riot through each scene with desperation, fear, jealousy and lust all playing their part in the various journeys and paths love takes over.

The first plot seems to be the strongest with Young Tommaso (Silvio Muccino) falling desperately in love with Giulia (Jasmine Trinca) who in the beginning barely knows his name. It is fast paced and fun with Tommaso’s best friend frequently commenting on his crazy blind behaviour straight into the camera for he no longer recognises the person who has become oblivious to any world without Giulia. This scene definitely pulls the most laughs, so it is inevitable that familiar faces should reappear to play a minor role in the scenes that follow.

Special mention must be made to the award winning performance played by Carlo Verdone. He brings to light the sheer desperation of an abandoned man in the final chapter of this film and provides the perfect mix of comedy and drama.

Each plot ends with everything seemingly falling into place, leaving the audience with happy endings- almost a reminder of the way life should pan out according to “The Manual”. Transitions are made in an obvious way and it is just as well so you are not completely thrown when a new scene begins. The soundtrack plays an important part in this and adds an immense about of colour and vibrancy as the picture plays out.

The Manual of Love shows human nature at its best and the obvious blunders we stumble through as we journey through love. Mix this with typical Italian personality, not to mention drama, and how could this provide anything but entertainment?