Movie review: The Salt of Life

By Columbus Alive
From the May 31, 2012 edition

Here’s the thing about getting older. It’s (probably) better than the alternative.

Italian import “The Salt of Life” looks at an aging would-be ladies man who seemingly has just realized that a few more years have gotten behind him than he thought.

Gianni (Gianni Di Gregorio, who also wrote and directed) is a retiree living in Rome. He lives with a wife who is more like a kindly roommate and a young daughter who has questionable taste in boyfriends.

His chief pastime is seemingly pining for the various lovely women who pass through his day-to-day life.

So an older writer-director ruminating about and romanticizing his relationships with women is going to put me in mind of Woody Allen, right? The loving portrait of Roman life is like Allen’s New York (or more recently, Paris).

But the lulling, episodic nature of the narrative is draining, even with a short runtime. The tone is light, but even as Gianni is comically too kindhearted to be much of a seduction threat, there are creepy undertones to his quests.

In fairness, I’m not that old — yet. Perhaps this will resonate more with the retiree crowd.