Friday, April 15th, 2022

Queerguru’s Ris Fatah reviews TOWARDS HAPPINESS an Italian queer drama where happiness maybe in Drag


Towards Happiness is director Paola Cipolletta’s drama about living life rather than just surviving it. Andrea (Francesco Di Leva) is a 40-year-old account manager and lives a rather mundane life in Naples with his wife Lucia (Miriam Candurro), a call center worker, and their ten-year-old son, Tommaso (Giuseppe Pirozzi). Their marriage is not going well, both partners are in dead-end jobs and the couple have money troubles. Andrea also has a secret life. Once a week he transforms into the fabulous drag queen, Octavia Meraviglia, and performs at bars around Naples. One night, by chance, Lucia is at a venue where he is performing and recognizes her husband in drag. She reacts badly to this and throws him out of their apartment. Andrea goes to stay with his friend Enzo (Luca Saccoia), a fellow drag queen, and his life slowly starts falling apart as Lucia initiates divorce and custody proceedings, and Andrea starts drinking heavily. The battles between Andrea and Lucia are bitter. Tommaso gets dragged into the dispute – the scenes with Tommaso processing his parents’ split are played well. Andrea also owes money to an associate, the eccentric long-haired gigolo Ciro (Gianfranco Gallo), a specialist in servicing older women. Ciro is constantly on Andrea’s case to repay his debt, adding to Andrea’s stress. Matters eventually come to a dramatic head.

Towards Happiness is Paolo Cipolletta’s debut feature film and he successfully combines handsome casting and strong acting performances with quintessentially Italian art direction and cinematography – lots of scenes have coffee or art as a backdrop. The English subtitles however could do with a review as the English translation is weak at times The characters are believable, even Ciro, who has some oddball bedroom scenes with his clients. Andrea’s own sexual identity is never fully revealed, but that’s not so relevant here. The overall message of the film – live your true life – is positive and heartfelt.

P.S. Towards Happiness is screening at Miami's Outshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival in person and online

Review: Ris Fatah 

Queerguru Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant  (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah


Posted by queerguru  at  14:00

Genres:  drama, international

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