Like in Poveri ma belli, the laws of attraction come into play in the Southern Italian countryside, and it appears to be contagious
The irresistible Tina Pica is caustic, difficult and hard to kill off
Loosely based on an entertaining novel by Pasquale Festa Campanile, La nonna Sabella is a countryside comedy that takes full advantage of the energetic presence of Tina Pica as one of the most unmistakable characters of Italian cinema: caustic, difficult, authoritarian, and above all hard to kill off. A delightful selection of the usual suspects is constructed around her (a priest, an old spinster, a foolish heiress), and as ever Dino Risi’s assured hand perfectly pulls the strings behind the camera, even when he introduces youthful desire into the Southern mix. Therefore, an innocent little comedy? Not exactly. At the time, certain critics denounced the indiscriminate sensuality of the film, which unlike Poveri ma belli does not limit itself to the younger generations; here, even the tremendous Nonna Sabella’s mature sister, who has struggled in love, will finally have her dreams come true.
Raffaele rushes back to his hometown in Campania because Nonna Sabella doesn’t have long left to live. But the cunning old woman is only faking it: her plan is to get the young man to return home so that she can force him into a marriage of convenience. Unfortunately, Raffaele has set his eyes on another girl, with whom he used to play as a child but who now hardly recognises him…