Movie Review: Ciao (2008)

Ciao (2008)

Oscar AwardSynopsis:
[Fandango] A man dies very unexpectedly and leaves behind two men: Jeff, his best friend and Andrea, an Italian he’s been corresponding with online. Jeff informs Andrea of Mark’s passing; Andrea writes back to express his shock and sympathies. On a whim, they continue their correspondence and a rapport grows between them. They eventually meet, where they extend their e-mail exchanges into more personal and intimate conversations. They talk about their respective countries, their jobs, their families, their lives. Mostly, they talk about Mark. What began as a tragedy that linked two strangers from different ends of the world becomes a deeply realized friendship that may change their lives forever.

I really enjoyed this movie and considering the 33% rating at Rotten Tomatoes is starting to tell me that any pro or regular joe review still doesn’t give you a clue to what you might like, including this one you are reading right now.

I cried twice, once at the beginning and the end. It was slow paced but I really like that because I got everything they were trying to accomplish with the movie. Jeff’s best friend dies and then he finds out that he really didn’t know parts of Mark’s life at all such as his correspondence with Andrea. You get the sense that he felt, I don’t know “annoyed” that Mark would share intimate details with a online person than with him.

It was like he spent a good amount of time with somebody (become friends in a slightly possessive and territorial way, especially when Jeff had strong feelings for Mark) and then get sideswiped by new details that this “stranger” is telling him about his friend, because he was developing a relationship outside of Jeff. It was like envy or jealousy put together but not because when Andrea shows up and starts talking about Mark, I think Jeff was a real adult about it instead of being bitter but I will admit and give leeway because he was probably still in grief over his friend’s sudden death and Andrea was a last connection to Mark.

Um, too messy of a review, let’s try this again. Even though the story is about Mark’s death, it is really about Jeff. He asked Andrea to come to Dallas to see who this person that could get Mark’s personal attention in the way Jeff in the many years he known Mark that he could never have. The way he discusses the emails and finding out this “online affair” with his sister suggests that part of it was done unconsciously in regards to the invitation to Dallas. Throughout the two days Jeff doesn’t grieve for him until Andrea shows him a video of Mark’s country singing.

Basically, the last ten minutes of the movie is just that, of Jeff dealing with his grief. Even Andrea and Jeff’s making out in bed felt like Mark’s unfinished business. Andrea is the last part of Mark’s life and it seems to give him permission to let go. (a clue: he stops visiting Mark’s condo.) The last part is open ended with Jeff and Andrea and most times I don’t like that but in this case it actually works for me.

I would give it a recommend to add to collection as I don’t see why the pro reviewers gave it such a low mark.

Movie Trailer:

ciao2008 by whiskeysilver


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