From time to time, a film comes along that manages to do everything in the most annoying fashion possible. Inexplicably competing for the Golden Lion (home nation favouritism the only possible reason I can think of), For Your Love (Per Amor Vostro) is one such bête noire for me. Cheap, simplistic and tacky, it mixes up a number of elements into a vomitus brew I wish I’d never ingested.

Giuseppe M. Gaudino’s film is built around Anna (Valeria Golino), a woman who has become so disconnected from life she can only see in grey. She works as a television show prompter, and is by all accounts pretty good at her job. She also has a comfortable existence and several children who love her. The same cannot be said for Anna’s husband Gigi (Massimiliano Gallo). An unscrupulous loan shark, he spends his days screaming abuse at her and their deaf-mute son Arturo (Edoardo Crò) before heading out to ruin the lives of the desperate.

It’s not the fault of Golino that it’s such a mess. She does her best to appear charming and pained, but is stuck between a rock and a hard place, forced to float free in the many fantastical segments while keeping her character grounded the next minute. With such a thinly written role, it’s an impossibility. Her voyage of self-discovery as she gets back on track and pushes against her petulantly dominating husband turns into a thankless slog. Little reason is given for any of her behaviour until the end, by which point it’s too late to make any difference.

Around the thin story, Gaudino throws out irritating conceit after irritating conceit. Aside from grey-vision, God-awful Italian pop music blares continually, often providing lyrics to match the action. Anna is also prone to freeze suddenly, before being turned into a sketched picture that serves as a divider between acts. Throw in a few flashbacks to her colourful childhood and this most flimsy of constructions is liable to collapse.

For Your Love seems to have a really hard time deciding what it wants to be. It dabbles with calculated whimsy, knockabout entertainment, dashing romance and bleak family crisis, botching the lot. The only thing it is for definite is bad. Really, really bad.

Director: Giuseppe M. Gaudino
Stars: Valeria Golino, Massimiliano Gallo, Adriano Giannini
Runtime: 110 min
Country: Italy, France

Film Rating: ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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