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Film / The Great Beauty

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You can do a Drinking Game for every time they say that it shares similarities with La Dolce Vita...

"To this question, as kids, my friends always gave the same answer... "pussy". Whereas I answered... "the smell of old people's houses". The question was: "What do you like most, really, in life?" I was destined for sensibility. I was destined to become a writer. I was destined to become Jep Gambardella."
Jep Gambardella
"When I came to Rome at the age of 26, I fell pretty swiftly, almost without realising it, into what might be defined as the whirl of the high life. But I didn't just want to live the high life. I wanted to become its king. I didn't just want to go to parties. I wanted to have the power to make them a failure."
Jep Gambardella

Jep Gambardella is a witty, wealthy socialite who after writing a modern classic in his youth has been dining out on it ever since in an endless succession of parties among Rome's artistic elite. However, after his 65th birthday party he's informed by a tearful widower that his first girlfriend, and the subject of his one and only book, has died. This triggers a slow but profound Heel Realisation from Jep that, despite best intentions, he's been wasting his talents and goes on a search for... something. Of course he immediately meets a woman, Ramona, with whose help he tries to overcome the emptiness of his life.


The second important character here is Romano played by Carlo Verdone, a famous Italian director. He is like Jep a provincial who came to Rome but never reached success comparable with Jep's. His plans usually fail and he cannot attract the girl whom he woos.

La Grande Bellezza is yet another outing for Production Posse Paulo Sorrentino and Toni Servillo in a particularly resplendent production. The film has received great acclaim from critics, and has been favourably compared to the work of Federico Fellini and indeed bears more than a passing similarity to La Dolce Vita. It might appear that there's no story as such, however in fact all scenes are tightly interwoven with each other and the film follows a fairly strict logic. Even though the plot threads can be properly followed only after several viewings.


Many characters who are presented in the chaotic manner follow their paths which can be discerned. The film has a number of brick jokes when the second scene with a certain character is a development of the theme established in the first scene. As a result each character has his own arc, all of which eventually come to a resolution of sorts.

This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Cool City: Rome, of course.
  • Arc Words: Jep Gambardella, the author of one masterpiece is (somewhat) asked thrice "why he has not written another book".
    • He first answers to Ramona that he spent too much nights out and wasted his forces while penning a novel requires concentration. Ramona retorts that it is a Non-Answer. Jep then adds than he was always a sprinter who wrote in spurts and then had long pauses.
    • Then he himself says during the party (in the presense of his maid) that they always ask him why he did not write another novel. And answers that one should look at those people (of the high society) who are savages.
    • In the end he is also asked the same question by Suor Maria. He answers with a Title Drop:
      Jep I was looking for the great beauty, but... I didn't find it.
  • Anti-Hero: Jep is a very complicated case who might indeed be best described by this trope.
  • As Himself:
    • Fanny Ardant who is addressed by Jep by her real-life name.
    • Also Antonello Venditti. When Jep is asked by Ramona whether he knows Venditti he replies that he knows everyone. And that's nothing good.
  • Badass Boast: Jep swags that he is able to ruin any party.
  • Bald of Evil: it is implied that the assistant of Suor Maria is not a very sympathetic character.
  • The Beard: That's what Stefania appears to be for her husband Eusebio as he is gay. Still they have four kids together even though he loves Giordano as per Jep.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Much of Jep's social circle falls in this category.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending is closest to that. Jep lost several of his friends in the course of the plot. However it is hinted that Jep might be ready to start writing his second novel. Also he in general reconciles with the futility of the life.
  • Big Eater: Played with for Cardinal Belucci. He states that he likes to cook and eat the dishes, the recipes of which he cites. However he is not fat and does not eat very much onscreen.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Jep says blah blah blah in the end of the film referring to the hubris of his life.
  • Bookends: The film starts with an Epigraph made by the opining lines of Journey to the End of the Night. It is ended by the camera travelling by Tiber passing under the bridges and arches exactly like the same book ends.
  • Break the Haughty: That's what Jep does to a Bourgeois Bohemian Stefania when she states that her life is full as she has a husband and kids and adheres to the leftist ideas.
  • Bourgeois Bohemian:
    • Jep.
    • Also invoked by Jep for Stefania who works on TV.
  • Brick Joke: An omnipresent trop for this film. Many later scenes with episodic characters are actually callbacks to their previous scenes. They build on the things stated earlier.
  • Butt-Monkey: Romano cannot catch a break. He's constantly looking for a successful piece to direct, has an opportunistic girlfriend that treats him with contempt and he's basically the No Respect Guy. After years of frustration he leaves Rome and returns to his native city.
  • Call-Back: Jep first asks in the lift his mysterious and taciturn neighbour whether his suit is tailored by Catellani. The latter does not condescend to answer. In the end of the second act as the neighbour turns out to be a wanted criminal and is arrested he loosens up. He then very belatedly replies that he prefers Rebecchi to Catellani as Catellani does not have too much brushed fabrics lately.
  • The Casanova: Jep. He's effortlessly charming and funny and appears to have had a long, long string of conquests behind him.
  • Character Filibuster: Cardinal Bellucci is always ready to change the subject of the conversation to cite recipes of various dishes. Pushed Up to Eleven as he doesn it more than one or two times.
  • Character Tics: Lello Cava played by Carlo Buccirosso regularly twitches his face in strange ways.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Cardinal Bellucci who is always eager to cite the recipes of various dishes regarless of the reaction of the people around.
  • Cool Old Lady: Suor Maria.
  • Cosmetic Horror: Played straight for Jep as he listens to the novel by Pirandello while he has a facial mask applied to his face. Cucumber Facial is averted though.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Romano's non-girlfriend is not all there, just having sniffed the substance when Romano recites her the beginning of the second act of his play. He asks her how it is and she answers that he's written a pile of shit. She is right.
  • The Cynic: Jep, despite being reasonably content with life, is quite bitter about people.
    Jep: I'm not a misogynist, I'm a misanthrope.
  • The Dandy: Jep is the modern version.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Invoked by Talia Concept. Jep does not buy it from her.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Dadina is formally depraved as she is obviously spoilt and materialistic. However she is the most wholesome character in the movie.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: This trope can describe Jep even though "desperately" is too strong as he avoids everything intense.
  • The Determinator: Dadina when she wants Suor Maria to have an interview with Jep. She does not take no for an answer.
  • Deuteragonist: Romano who is overall the second significant character. He is put on the bus before the third act.
  • Did They or Didn't They?:
    • Jep has sex with Orietta and does not enjoy it too much.
    • Jep and Ramona do have sex before she dies. They conclude that they did not make love but loveв each other.
    • Jep asks Stefania in their last conversation whether they ever had sex in the past. She rejects this idea indignantly. He says that then they have a thing to do in the future which is therefore marvelous for them.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    Viola: Andrea... You're crazy.
    Andrea: No, mom, I'm not crazy! I've got problems.
  • Downer Beginning: Of a darkly comedic nature. A Japanese tourist who in the first scene takes photos of the eternal city suddenly drops dead. As if stricken by all that great beauty.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Lello Cava in the very first scene repeats to a model at the Jep's birthday party: "I'll screw you! I'll screw you!". The model is not moved.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ramona, who is dying of cancer, disappeares after the scene where she didn't have sex with Jep. The movie cuts to Jep being asked by a mysterious woman "Who's going to look after you?" and Ramona's father sitting alone in his nightclub grieving.
  • Dull Surprise: That's how the non-girlfriend of Romano reacts to all his attempts to woo her.
  • Elite Man–Courtesan Romance: The romance between Jep and Ramona boils down to that. She is a stripper and he is the king of beau monde and an acclaimed writer.
  • Epigraph: The film starts with a quote of starting lines from Journey to the End of the Night.
  • Expy: Suor Maria's character is based on Mother Teresa.
  • Extreme Doormat: Romano, alas, behaves like the one with Jep Gambardella.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Jep didn't forget his first love, Elisa de Santis, who married another man. He is immensely shocked when he learns that she is dead.
  • Foil: Romano to Jep. Romano loses in every aspect where Jep succeeds.
  • Friendless Background: Very interestingly zigzagged for Andrea. When a priest after the end of the funeral service urges the friends of the deceased to come to the coffin and carry it out at first no-one moves to the despair of his mother Viola. However after some pause four usual suspects go out: Jep (a famous writer), Sebastiano Paff (Italy's greatest poet for the moment as per Jep), Lello Cava (a hugely rich toy seller whom his wife Trumeau urges to abstain as he has a bad back) and Romano. That implies that on one hand Andrea did not have any true friends among people of his age however on the other hand his coffin is carried by several people of importance.
  • Functional Addict: Played very straight with Egidio, the father of Ramona and an old friend of Jep. He is a decade-long user of cocaine then heroin however remains in a relatively good shape.
    Egidio I'm nearly 70 and I have to work till 6 in the morning every day. I swapped cocaine for heroin 15 years ago. What an asshole! A heroin junkie at 50!
  • Gentleman Snarker: When he's not being The Cynic, Jep is this.
  • Greek Chorus: Trumeau and Viola have two moments of this as they briefly comment on the events in the beau monde. Later when Viola is put on the bus Trumeau comments on her fate talking already with another character.
  • Gratuitous French: When Jep is first addressed by Alfredo with a blunt "Gabardella?" he replies "C'est moi".
  • Happily Married: Lello Cava believes he and Trumeau are.
    Lello Cava: Actually, my wife and I are the only couple in Italy who are in love.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Suor Maria, the elderly saint is in fact an admirer of the novelette by Jep Gambardella.
    • Also Cardinal Bellucci who previously was very talkative when asked by Jep whether he is indeed the great exorcist merely blesses him and rides away.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Romano for his "girlfriend".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Sebastiano Paff is very tall while Dadina is a dwarf played by Giovanna Vignola.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Carmelina is exploited by her parents who force her to make action paintings so that they can earn huge money for themselves as well as for her. The teenager has a more mundane dream, she wants to become a veterinarian.
  • Idle Rich: Orietta admits that she is the one.
    Jep: What job you do?
    Orietta: Me? I'm rich.
    Jep: Great job.
  • Impossible Task: Suor Maria should climb the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) on her knees. It has 28 steps but of course the saintly nun succeeds in doing it.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The count and countess of Colonna. So much that they are hired at the parties where the presense of aristocrates is needed. However they are generally ready to be hired as counts Colonnas while some host wants to hire them under the name of the count and countess Odescalchi. The problem is, there is a centuries-long feud between the Colonna and Odescalchi families...
  • Japanese Tourist: In the beginning of the movie an Italian guide is lecturing a group of these in Japanese.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Naturally, Jep's birthday party has a woman doing this.
  • Kick the Dog: With his snarking ways, Jep manages to make few. One is with the man who is recently widowed with Jep's The One That Got Away, who is asked by Jep if they ever had children. The man answers that he couldn't. Jep says "But I could.", but afterwards recognises his rudeness.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Geronimo masterfully performs the one on Trumeau at the party hosted by Lillo de Gregorio. The knifes land very close to her as they should.
  • Lady in Red:
    • Orietta wears a red dress. Jep goes with her to her place, has sex with her but then makes a stealth bye.
    • Later Ramona has a red gown on when she meets Jep. He is immediately impressed.
  • Large Ham:
    • Egidio who is the owner of a sleazy striptease venue as well as a long-time junkee.
    • Also Romano played by Carlo Verdone.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Long, slow, flowing takes are something of a Sorrentino trademark and they're used to great effect here to show off the beauty of Rome.
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage: Jep has the one (although without lipstick but with a plastic surgeon) as he prepares himself for the romance with Ramona. He makes himself handsome and then arrives at hers to invite the stripper to the restaurant.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: At the party it turns out that Viola is the one as she makes out with a younger girl during their dance.
  • Literalist Snarking: Jep with Talia Concept.
    Talia Concept You are an obsessive jerk! I'll tell your editor to send me a journalist of a higher stature.
    Jep A piece of advice: when you speak to my editor, go easy on the stature business. She's a dwarf, you know.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: All of whom have at least some significance for the plot.
  • Looks Like Jesus: Andrea with his long hair and beard.
  • The Lost Lenore: An interesting version in that both Jep and his first girlfriend, Elisa De Santis, never seemed to get over each other. Jep never had another significant relationship after leaving her, and his ex-girlfriend's grieving husband tearfully tells Jep that she spent their entire marriage loving Jep instead of him.
  • The Mafia: Jep's neighbour Moneta is alluded to being a high-ranking member.
  • Magnum Opus: In-universe; Jep has only written one book in his entire life, but it's reputed to be loved by all of Italy.
  • Make-Out Kids: Neighbours of Romano, a young couple who as he says met 10 days ago and kiss all the time since then. Jep and Romano watch them with a certain envy.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Played completely straight for Andrea whose private parts are shown albeit from some distance in a scene when he encounters his mother totally naked and painted red.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: It is invoked by Ramona that everything men ever wanted from her was sex. Jep promises to subvert this trope, assuring her that he is only eager to speak.
  • May–December Romance:
    • A failed one for Romano with his much younger and callous "girlfriend".
    • It works out visibly better for Alfredo Marti who starts a relationship with a rather simple woman.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Romano means "Roman" although he was not born in Rome. In the end he leaves the metropolis (the Roman leaves Rome) returning to his native city.
    • Also Cardinal Belucci's name might be meaningful.
  • The Mentor: Jep invokes to Ramona that her father Egidio was once the one for him. Among other things he taught him that "vodka is uncouth".
  • The Missionary: Viola, the mother of Andrea, becomes the one after he commits suicide. She sells out her property and departs for Africa.
  • Mood Whiplash: This film is rather a mood rollercoaster. One of the most powerful whiplashes is when after the death of Ramona Jep goes around absolutely lost.
  • Most Writers Are Writers:
    • Jep, the protagonist of the film is the one as well as a journalist.
    • Romano is also an aspiring writer.
    • Stefania wrote 11 novels and a book on her (leftist) Party's history. Jep states that everything written by her is atrocious.
    • Romano's non-girlfriend tells him that she is no more an actress but a writer. Exactly when he promises her a role in his movie.
  • The Mourning After:
    • Jep attempts to subvert this trope as after he is told Elisa de Santis is dead he starts a romance with Ramona.
    • Subverted for Alfredo Marti, the husband of said Elisa de Santis, who first says that he intends to go on adoring Elisa also after her death. Then he starts a relationship with a much younger and not very sophisticated woman. Jep admires the couple.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Stripper Ramona, played by national Ms. Fanservice Sabrina Ferilli.
  • No Antagonist: Jep's only antagonist is the futility of existence.
  • Nobody Poops: Subverted by the nihilistic Lello Cava who brings up this topic at the table. He states that the stiff Viola should never poop. As opposed to him and his wife. He says that his father taught him that a man should verify whether a woman poops or not before marrying her.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Talia Concept is based on Marina Abramović, a Serbian performance artist.
  • No Name Given: For the fiance of Romano.
  • Non-Answer:
    • Ramona thinks that after she asks Jep why he has not written another novel Jep gives her the one. In fact he answers that he was always spending too many nights out and never properly concentrated on his writing.
    • Suor Maria asks Jep whether he knows why she only eats roots. Then she herself answers "because roots are important".
  • Not So Different: When Stefania says that her life is full as she has a husband and four kids of whom she takes care as well as an active social position Jep invokes this trope.
    Jep: Stefania, mother and woman. You're 53, with a life in tatters, like the rest of us. Instead of acting superior and treating us with contempt, you should look at us with affection. We're all on the brink of despair, all we can do is look each other in the face. Keep each other company, joke a little...
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Jep does not stay even for supper with Orietta as he leaves very soon after their sex in the evening.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: Ramona comes to the party of Lillo de Gregorio in the one. Viola and Trumeau don't appreciate it.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Suor Maria always sleeps on a floor on a piece of cardboard.
  • Older Than They Look: In-universe. Jep Gambardella celebrates his 65th birthday while Tony Servillo was in his early fifties during the shooting of the film. In fact the character hardly looks 65 being somewhere between actual 52 of Servillo and declared 65 of Gambardella.
  • Old Friend: Jep and Egidio. Interestingly if Jep's words are to be taken literally he is a very old friend. Jep says that they have not seen each other for thirty year. When Jep was young he was a regular customer at Egidio's venue.
  • Old Shame: In-universe. Jep and Romano consider the participation of Stefania in the reality show "Girl Farm" as a host to be this trope though Stefania herself believes that it was a useful experience.
  • One-Book Author: Jep whose sole book, the novelette, has the title L'apparato umano. It was considered a masterpiece as well as awarded by the actually existing Premio Bancarella.
  • Only One Name: Wildly zigzagged. Some characters have both a name and a surname (Jep Gambardella, Lello Cava, Lillo De Gregorio, also Elisa De Santis, Jep's Lost Lenore). Most of them have only name (Romano, Dadina, Ramona, Stefania, Viola, Andrea and others)
  • Only Sane Man: Lello Cava at times appears the one among the friends of Jep.
  • The Oner:
    • The scene where Jep examines the photos of an artist. First his father was taking his picture every day when he was a child. Later he made them hinmself. Now the photos are all exhibited together.
    • The scene where Jep is shot by the fisheye lense after the death of Ramona. He walks in prostration to the song Everything Trying by Damien Jurado.
    • The credits play over an epic eight-minute single take of a boat sailing down the Tiber.
  • One Steve Limit: Played with as this film has Romano and Ramona, also Stefania and Stefano. Also Lello and Lillo.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Egidio's daughter Ramona dies of cancer while Viola's son Andrea ends his mental illness with suicide.
  • Parental Neglect: Jep invokes that Stefania actually never takes care of her four children herself as she has a big staff of servants.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: Jep's parties are... frequently quite intense.
  • Posthumous Character: Elisa de Santis, the Lost Lenore Of Jep.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: A posh party gathered to see how a little girl Carmelina does action-painting. She is very reluctant but her parents force her to do it once more. In the end the great beauty is arguably born from her efforts
  • Power of Trust: Invoked by Stefano who has the keys to various ancient palaces and leads Jep and Ramona on an exclusive excursion.
    Ramona How come you have all these keys?
    Stefano Because... I'm a trustworthy person.
  • Put on a Bus: Several cases of this in the end of the second act. Romano, Stefania, Viola depart for good. Stefania in particular as she is simply absent from the third act but is is never said where she is.
  • Random Events Plot: This film can appear that to a first-time viewer but in fact this trope is subverted. All events in the plot are consequential.
  • Reality Show: Stefania was the host of the one called "Girl farm". She is less proud of that line in her CV as opposed to 11 novels and a book on the Party's history. Still she believes that it was a useful stint as she was never afraid to get her hands dirty. Jep is of a very low opinion both of her participation in the reality show and of those 11 novels anyway.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dadina for Jep. Although she is his friend she is also his employer and she guides him in life at least to an extent.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given his incisive and witty nature, Jep is quite good at these.
    • His interview with ludicrous performance artist Talia Concept swiftly degenerates into one when Jep tries to ask her what her art is about and she's unable to explain.
    • Jep is goaded into delivering one to Stefania and he utterly eviscerates her in the process.
  • Red Is Violent: Subverted by Andrea. He gets naked and paints himself red but is inoffensive to anyone except for himself. In the end in the ultimate acts of autoaggression he commits suicide.
  • Romance: Two of them, both failed.
    • For Romano and his girlfriend one cannot be certain that there ever was any romance.
    • For Ramona and Jep things also do not end bright at all.
  • Scenery Porn: It's not an exaggeration to say that Rome has never looked better than this. If it's in Rome and it's beautiful, then it's probably on lavish display here.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Romano leaves Rome desperate because of his continual failures.
  • Self-Deprecation: Dadina points out that everyone is useless. She says it as the self-confessed queen of the losers.
    Dadina: Nobody's fit for shit, dammit. Take it from the queen of misfits.
  • Serious Business: Andrea takes literature including Ivan Turgenev and Marcel Proust much more seriously than an average person. Their quotes about death haunt him. He also says that if he should not take Turgenev and Proust seriously then he does not see whom or what he should take seriously. Jep says that Andrea needs to treat seriously only the restaurant menu.
  • Servile Snarker: The maid of Jep can qualify.
  • Sex for Solace: Jep tries to start a romance with Ramona after he learns of the death of Elisa de Santis. It might have even worked however she also promptly dies.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man:
    • Jep is always dressed in impeccable suits.
    • Also hie neighbour Giulio Moneta who prefers Rebecchi to Catellani among the Roman tailors.
  • Shout-Out: Jep once hears to the recording of Il fu Mattia Pascal, a novel by Luigi Pirandello.
    "There could be no doubt, either, as to the miserable designs of Malagna. The girl should be rescued therefore at any cost and without loss of time."
    • Later Trumeau states that she looks like a character from Pirandello.
  • Sinister Minister: Cardinal Belucci is at times this. When he is not telling another recipe to the unwilling listeners.
  • Smash Cut: The party scenes are chock-full of very frenetic edits to further emphasise their dislocation, in contrast to Leave the Camera Running above.
  • Spiritual Successor: Like written under the image, one could do a Drinking Game with every time it is compared to La Dolce Vita, though the movie shares significant similarities with . It's a safe bet to say that it's "Fellinian".
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Jep has a stealth bye when he is invited by Orietta at hers to have sex. They do and later Orietta tells that she is always making pictures of herself. Then she goes to another room to bring her collection of photos to show them to Jep. He is suddenly disinterested and quits her apartment in the manner of this trope.
  • Stepford Smiler: Viola and Trumeau (high society style).
  • The Stoic: Trumeau, the wife of Lello Cava when the prostitutes on the road solicite her husband even though she is in the same car with him. She remains unbothered.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Interestingly subverted by the girl who is compelled to produce an action-painting at the party by her parents. In the end her work turns out to be beautiful as in "the great beauty".
    • Jep invokes that 11 pro-socialist novels and the book on the Party's history written by Stefania are terrible and no-one reads them.
    • Also the brief quotes from Romano's imaginary novel he recites to his "girlfriend" are this.
  • They Don't Make Them Like They Used To: Invoked by Jep and Stefano.
    Jep: The catering's gone downhill.
    Stefano: Rome's gone downhill.
  • Title Drop: Near the end of the film Jep says I was looking for the great beauty, but... I didn't find it..
  • The Topic of Cancer: Ramona is seretly dying of cancer and reveals it only to Jep.
  • Third-Person Person: Jep has some moments of this when he talks to his maid who also sometimes refers to him in the third person.
  • Three-Act Structure:
    • The first act is dedicated to the introduction of the main characters.
    • The second starts when Jep is notified about the death of his old flame by her husband. It is a point of no return event for him. Then he starts the romance with Ramona. It ends with the death of Ramona and departure of Romano. (Also briefly before that Andrea commits suicide and his mother Viola volunteers as a missionary and departs for Africa). In the last scene of the act Jep and Stefania clear up things between them as they dance and Stefania is also absent from the third act. In addition the mysterious neighbour of Jep proves to be Giulio Moneta, an acclaimed criminal and he is arrested so he leaves him too in a way.
    • The third one is entirely revolving around the visit of suor Maria whom Jep is requested to interview by Dadina.
    • It appears that acts are separated by the scenes which do not have any influence on the plot (as opposed to many other which actually do)
      • The first and second acts are divided by the scene when Jep is in a small church where the upset mother looks for her lost daughter. Jep sees the girl which is on the lower level of this church. Then a child asks Jep who he is and answers herself that he is a nobody.
      • The second and the third acts are separated by the scene where Jep goes through the photos of a man who first was shot by his father then by himself every day throughout his life and now exhibits the whole collection of his images. Even though the last scene with Stefania follows this scene thus by this reasoning she is also barely present in the third act.
  • Tritagonist: A tossup between Dadina, Stefania and Ramona but most probably Dadina as she is the one who appears in the third act too.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Performance artist Talia Concept strips naked, paints the Soviet Union flag on her nether regions, makes two girls dressed as angels wrap her head with a veil, runs headfirst into a wall and then screams "I do not love you!" Jep, who has come for an interview, is nonplussed.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Most of people Jep hangs out with.
  • Vacation Episode: Jep quits Rome when he is sent by Dadina to write about the sunken Costa Concordia.
  • The Voiceless: The greatest modern Italian poet Sebastiano Paf, the boyfriend of Dadina. Jep explains that he never talks as he always listens.
  • Weight Woe: It is invoked by Jep that Sebastiano Paf observes a Dukan diet as he is afraid that Dadina will leave him if he puts on weight.
  • The Wonka: Lello Cava might be a bit of this as he is very rich, earning his money in the international trade however his manners are somewhat off.
  • Word Salad Philosophy: Stefania is guilty of this. Jep is unforgiving as he lampshades that.
    Stefania: Rome is the only city in the world where Marxism has truly existed. You can't excel over others for more than a week, you're immediately brought back to mediocrity. Rome is pure collectivism. Pure collectivism.
    Jep: Stefania, what utter nonsense! Do you know that Flaubert wanted to write a book about nothing? If he'd met you, we'd have had a great book, what a shame!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Romano who frequently thinks that he is a romantic character of a novel who enchants a much younger girl. In fact she is never impressed by his efforts and always puts him down. He is a comic old man and a Hopeless Suitor.
    • Also Romano tries to emulate D'Annunzio in his works while Jep believes that his artistic temperament is very different and he needs to write something of his own while his imitation of D'Annunzio is ridiculous.
  • Younger Than They Look: Suor Maria was played by an actress who was not even 70 at the time.
  • Writer's Block: Jep suffers of it for decades. He dreams of writing a book about nothing, like Fraubert did.

Alternative Title(s): La Grande Bellezza


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