Starring: Massimo Ghini, Ricky Memphis, Martina Stella
Director: Marco Risi
Running Time: 100 mins
5 Star Christmas (Natale a cinque stelle) is an Italian film about a political delegation on a trip to Budapest during Christmas, however problems arise when the President and his lover’s time alone together is interrupted by a chaotic series of events.
While this film isn’t the world’s funniest comedy, nor the world’s smartest political satire, 5 Star Christmas still has a basic, fun-loving atmosphere that makes it a fairly enjoyable watch throughout, even if it unfortunately misses out on taking its premise to more interesting and politically relevant areas, rather than sticking with something that is really rather simplistic.
On the whole, I did enjoy 5 Star Christmas, simply because it was so simple. There is more to the film, and that’s something that works both to its advantage as well as against it, however as far as an hour and a half of purely idiotic farce goes, then I’m happy to say that this film does a good job of carrying it out, with a frantic and fast pace throughout that turns all of its comedic stupidity into something that is surprisingly enjoyable from time to time.
Of course, on the flipside, the film’s overly basic and simplistic plot throughout doesn’t do it any favours when it comes to holding your attention right the way through. While it’s light-hearted and enjoyable, the story is simple, unoriginal and predictable that there’s very little to really grab onto other than watching pure chaos unfold. The humour is easy-going enough that you can sit back and turn your brain off, but the fact remains that there really isn’t all that much to the story, and as such the film doesn’t really stand out in the mind for all too long afterwards.
Now, when it comes to the film’s premise, there’s ample opportunity for political satire and tongue-in-cheek references for the current situation in Italy and the wider world. Throughout, the film has a good bit of fun poking and laughing at contemporary politics, and while I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say it was biting, deeply intelligent satire, there are a good few one-line zingers that hit home excellently when taken in that political context.
With that said, however, there’s still far too little in the way of genuine political satire in contrast to the total farce of the main plot, which left me feeling as if this story could have been played out in any setting, with any characters, rather than combining the nature of the film’s political characters with the humour. In short, while it’s still an enjoyable watch, 5 Star Christmas is desperately missing more intelligent and unique political humour, and as such it just doesn’t get you laughing as much as it would really like to, which is why I’m giving it a 7.0 overall.