A masterpiece of Italian (black) comedy
Mario Monicelli directs an irresistible time bomb that goes off in the middle of Christmas lunch
Mario Monicelli spent his entire career attacking the pillars of society, to demonstrate how fragile and at times dangerously absurd they are. The clarity of his work made him a giant both of Italian and international cinema. At almost eight years of age, in Parenti serpenti he tackles another of our most sacred institutions head on: the family. And with all its hypocrisies, subterfuges and lies, the picture that emerges is far from reassuring. But this in no way makes the film any less plausible. With a fantastic cast, first-rate performances, a wonderful screenplay and well-paced storytelling, the film is a time bomb that now deserves to be considered one of the classics of Italian black comedy.
An elderly couple gathers their four children and respective families together for the Christmas holidays. Everything goes smoothly until the two parents make an announcement: they no longer want to be left alone, and they won’t for a minute consider being put into a nursing home. Their children must decide who they will move in with. All hell breaks loose.