“LET YOURSELF GO”— Life Changes

“Let Yourself Go” (“Lasciati andare”)

Life Changes

Amos Lassen

A psychoanalyst named Elia (Toni Servillo) goes to the gym and meets a personal trainer who changes his life. Servillo lives and works in the Roman ghetto, a beautiful neighborhood in the historic city centre of Rome. He is separated from his wife Giovanna (Carla Signoris) but they still share a house with a very thin wall separating their respective bedrooms Dr. Elia Venezia lives a methodical and rather self-centered existence which only gets lively when his patients get weird.

Then, one day his blood sugar levels force him to go to the doctor, who tells him to shape up fast, puts him on a diet and prescribes exercise. Right after this, a Spanish personal trainer by the name of Claudia (Veronica Echegui), comes to his office and drags him into a swirling vortex of mishaps that breathe life back into his dull life.

Filmmaker Francesco Amato will undoubtedly be compared to Woody Allen based on this film yet he manages to find his own Italian way to Jewish comedy. The film takes a few minutes to warm up, with a few overly cold and intellectual jokes, after which Servillo and the others start to win over the audience, ending up in pure slapstick mode with the entrance on the scene of Luca Marinelli who plays a low-life robber who has escaped from prison to recover his spoils and turns to the psychoanalyst to have himself hypnotized so that he can remember where he buried the jewels. This is quite the JewishItalian screwball comedy.

Claudia challenges the doctor’s masculinity, social status, and general sense of well being. She leads him on a merry chase around Rome that changes his life. There’s smart, fast-paced dialogue and the performances are excellent all around.

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