The Manual of Love (Manuale d'amore) (Palace Films Collection) (2005)

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Released 23-Jan-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 110:50
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Giovanni Veronesi

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Carlo Verdone
Luciana Littizzetto
Silvio Muccino
Sergio Rubini
Margherita Buy
Jasmine Trinca
Rodolfo Corsato
Dino Abbrescia
Dario Bandiera
Luis Molteni
Sabrina Impacciatore
Anita Caprioli
Case ?
RPI ? Music Paolo Buonvino

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Some time ago I embarked on the large task of reviewing a box set of the Italian Film Festival 2005 which (fairly obviously) contained 11 films from Italy. If you take a look at my review, which is linked above, you will notice that I was fairly underwhelmed by the set both in terms of film quality which was patchy and in terms of technical presentation, which was quite shoddy. Now (from the same distributor) comes this newer film from Italy, Manuale D'Amour or The Manual of Love. It was made in 2005 and I can happily report that this release is a marked improvement both in terms of the film itself and the presentation (although still not without issue).

    The film is a romantic comedy made up of four linked stories. Each of the four stories links to the next and the final story links back to the first. The stories each examine a different stage of love and relationships. The titular manual is a self help book which is being recorded as an audio book by Livia, a young single mother who runs a restaurant by the beach. Her brother, Tommaso, is a young guy who is unemployed and has no girlfriend. He lives with his friend, Dante. One day after a couple of unsuccessful interviews a black cat crosses his path on his motorbike and he thinks the girl near him is trying to give him bad luck. He gets upset with her but quickly changes his tune when he sees and is immediately attracted to her friend, Giulia. The first section is entitled Falling in Love.

    This first story is followed by The Breakdown which is about a middle aged couple, Barbara & Marco, who have become distant from each other over time and the spark is gone from their relationship. She wants to have children but he is concerned that their problems would only get worse with children involved.

    Next up is The Affair which features Ornella, a female traffic cop who loves her husband, Gabrielle. When she finds him having an affair with their child's teacher she turns into a one woman vigilante force against men who break traffic laws (or even if they don't).

    The last story is titled Abandonment and features a doctor, Goffredo, who is trying to deal with his wife leaving him after many years of marriage with no explanation.

    This film has an interesting structure and the concepts used to link the parts are well thought through, resulting in them not feeling contrived. The circular nature of the film leaves you feeling good about the film. It is quirky, amusing and touching, although this is certainly not overplayed. The acting is of high quality and the cast includes a number of reasonably well known Italian actors and actresses (although certainly no international stars). The movie moves along at a good pace and is quite enjoyable and entertaining. For those annoyed by such things, please be aware that this disc includes an unskippable piracy warning.


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture was not quite sharp (without being spectacular) and there was no noticeable grain. The shadow detail was quite good and there was no low level noise.

    The colour was very good with no major issues to report. There was some mild colour bleeding.

    Artefacts were restricted to some very minor aliasing and a couple of bits of edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English which were burnt in . They were clear, easy to read and well timed.

    There was no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue seemed clear and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Paolo Buonvino was light and frothy, featuring strings. There were also some English and European language pop songs which were probably the highlight.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu allowed for scene selection only and was still and silent.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is coded for all regions and the only other release of this film I can find is from Germany (Region 2). It includes three 5.1 soundtracks (Italian DD, German DD & German DTS) and a number of extras. Unfortunately, there are no English subtitles which means the local release is probably the best unless you can speak Italian or German.


    A fun four part romantic comedy from Italy.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
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