A charming and unpretentious tale, 'Mid-August Lunch' is whisper-thin and delicately balanced. The main character, Gianni, played by Di Gregorio himself, is in his 60s but still lives with his mother who is forced to look after three other elderly ladies.
On the eve of the mid-summer Italian holiday of Ferragosto, Gianni is approached by building manager Luigi (Alfonso Santagata) and blackmailed into looking after Luigi's mother for two nights in exchange for forgiving certain tenant debts. But when Luigi comes to the apartment, he's brought his aunt Maria (Maria Cali) as well as his mother, Marina (Marina Cacciotti). Soon after, Gianni's doctor friend Marcello (Marcello Ottolenghi) pays a call, asking if he can leave his mother, Grazia (Grazia Cesarini Sforza), for "just one night." The four women, each with their own strong personality, prove a handful, but Di Gregorio's approach is true to life, avoiding platitudes or exaggeration as he spins a warm-hearted, humorous saga.
★★★★ "Bucks convention at every turn" - Catherine Shoard, The Guardian
"Another lovely humanist comedy - a Roman man far behind on his rent must create a feast for a group of elderly ladies abandoned by their families on a summer holiday" - Whit Stillman