Pop open your newsfeed, and articles with names like "What's the Rush? 14 Reasons You Shouldn't Marry Young" and "Ten Darn Good Reasons to Get Married and Have Kids Young" are probably clogging it up. Maria Sole Tognazzi's latest cinematic venture adds to that conversation by posing the question, "What is luxury?"
A Five Star Life stars a Meg Ryan-esque character named Irene who travels the world as an undercover five-star hotel inspector. Irene is beautiful, middle aged, and extremely independent. But, of course, in true romantic comedy fashion, this Italian flick features a few minor characters who are there to help the protagonist find more meaning in life and answer a dramatic question.
Irene's sister Silvia is married with two children and believes her always-traveling single (and, in her mind, soon-to-be spinster) sister cannot possibly be happy unless she too settles down with a mate and begins procreating. Andrea is Irene's ex-lover turned best friend who finds himself in a sticky situation with another woman, which makes Irene feel as though she's losing him.
Irene suddenly gains full responsibility at her job and travels even more. And she begins to feel pressure from her sister, who says she's being selfish. In Silvia's eyes, if Irene continues in her current lifestyle, the only possible end is loneliness. Can Irene truly be happy if she doesn't settle down and continues following her career path?
Irene's entire life revolves around judging hotels based on their level of luxury. She narrates the film by asking questions: Is the bathroom clean enough? Did the concierge maintain proper eye contact? Did the bus boy offer to unpack the luggage? ...