Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World (Amori che non sanno stare al mondo)

Movie review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World (Amori che non sanno stare al mondo) Movie Poster Image
Agonizing but clichéd look at tough breakup; tons of sex.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 92 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Not a lot of great relationship examples here. But there's still some show of resiliency as the main character eventually gets through a tough time and comes out OK.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are neurotic, obsessive, annoying, selfish relationship partners. Women and men take on stereotypical roles with regard to their place in relationships. Women are obsessive partners and want babies; men run from commitment and want younger women.

Violence
Sex

Full-frontal male nudity in nonsexual context; in-depth discussions of orgasms and sex; multiple extended, explicit sex scenes between man and woman and between two women; close-up scene of woman plucking stray hairs from her bare breast.

Language

Occasional use of strong language in Italian such as "cazzo" ("d--k"/"c--k"), "stronzo" ("a--hole"), "merda" ("s--t"), "scopa" ("f--k," colloquial).

Consumerism

Brief scene in which main character uses an Apple device.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Main character drinks hard liquor from a bottle and is shown drunk. Main character takes prescription anti-anxiety drugs. Social drinking at a party. Supporting character rolls and smokes cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World (Amori che non sanno stare al mondo) is a romantic dramedy with explicit content that makes it inappropriate for younger viewers. Multiple drawn-out sex scenes show everything but the genitals, while others include nonsexual full-frontal male nudity. There are also in-depth discussions about women faking orgasms and men's sexual cluelessness. Expect tired clichés around gender roles in relationships: The main character, Claudia (Lucia Mascino), is neurotic, needy, and demanding of her boyfriend, Flavio (Thomas Trabacchi), who brushes off her need for commitment. After they break up, he starts up a relationship with a much younger woman; Claudia ends up being so fed up with men that she decides to give it a go with women instead. The film is in Italian and, at the time of this review, does not include English subtitles. Italian swear words include "cazzo," "stronzo," "merda," and "scopa." Characters drink (sometimes too much), smoke, and take prescription medication.

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What's the story?

In STORIES OF LOVE THAT CANNOT BELONG TO THIS WORLD (the English translation of the original Italian title, Amori che non sanno stare al mondo), the relationship between Claudia (Lucia Mascino) and Flavio (Thomas Trabacchi), two college professors, started with a fiery spark and stayed tumultuous for seven years. After they break up, Claudia struggles to forget and move on. But she obsessively analyzes their relationship with the help of her friend, while Flavio starts a new relationship with a much younger woman. Memories of the defunct relationship intertwine with scenes from the present as Claudia learns to let the past go.

Is it any good?

Like peeling a bandage off slowly, inch by excruciating inch, watching Claudia struggle through coming to terms with the end of her relationship with Flavio is painful. Through flashbacks, viewers see Claudia as an almost unbearably insistent romantic partner, while we learn very little about Flavio other than that he appears to be remarkably patient. She's constantly nagging and in need of validation and reassurance; he's emotionally distant and seemingly indifferent. After the breakup, she turns obsessive, and he turns to a younger woman. Both Claudia and Flavio play up some of the worst gender stereotypes around men and women in relationships. A scene in which a supposed university professor details the calculations that determine the dating age equivalency between men and women (for women, automatically add 15 years above the man's age, add more for each child from a previous relationship, take away years for plastic surgery, and so on) is comedic but demeaning.

The movie's only saving grace comes at the end, when we finally see Claudia become empowered, though there's very little detail in Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World about her journey toward personal growth. She hints that she realizes how Flavio played his part in their dysfunction, but she doesn't delve too deep, and this all seems too little, too late. The takeaway message seems to be that men are selfish pigs who don't really know how -- or aren't willing -- to truly satisfy women, and that women are destined to pine for them regardless. All in all, not a great picture for teens learning about relationships.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about gender representation in Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World. What does the movie say about the roles that women and men play in relationships? How accurate do you think that is?

  • What do you think the movie's sex scenes add, if anything, to the storytelling? Could the same story be told without the sex? How does sex affect the characters' feelings and behavior?

Movie details

For kids who love romance

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