“The Salt of Life” is one of the rare films about middle-aged sexuality where you actually look forward to the inevitable Viagra joke — because if ever a movie needed a boost, it’s this slow-moving Italian affair.
Writer-director-star Gianni de Gregorio plays Gianni, a 60ish retiree who feels taken advantage of by the women in his life: his workaholic wife (Elisabetta Piccolomini), his college-age daughter (played by de Gregorio’s own daughter, Teresa), his hot downstairs neighbor (Valeria Cavalli) and his overbearing 96-year-old mother (Valeria de Franciscis).
Gianni also wonders if he doesn’t have a few more wild oats to sow, his marital status notwithstanding. This leads to a meandering series of episodes in which Gianni reunites with old girlfriends, meets new women and drools after anything in a skirt.
It’s nowhere near as charming as de Gregorio’s debut, the gently comic “Mid-August Lunch” (which also featured de Gregorio and de Franciscis as son and mother), as Gianni’s horndog pursuit and self-absorption turn more grating as the movie passes.
‘The Salt of Life’
Opens today at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably PG-13 for sexual content and some language; in Italian with subtitles; 90 minutes.