La Pazza Gioia, from the celebrated director Paolo Virzí, is a funny Italian feel-good road movie, shot against the backdrop of the magnificent Tuscan landscape. Its theme is friendship and the quest for happiness.
Beatrice Morandini Valdirana is a decadent chatterbox, and a prominent figure in the institution where she lives. Despite her gift of gab, she doesn’t really connect to the other patients. When the introverted, tough-looking new patient Donatella Morelli comes to live with them, an unexpected friendship blossoms between the two. They decide to escape together. During their adventures in a red Lancia Appia convertible they come face to face with their past. Fortunately, this time they are not alone, but have each other.
Two women on the road? Of course that’s reminiscent of the classic Thelma & Louise (1991). La Pazza Gioia has the same kind of brilliantly written and acted women’s roles, but is much funnier. At the end of the world premiere in Cannes, the film got a standing ovation. The reviews were wildly enthusiastic.