Dear Diary - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dear Diary Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2007
A very strange but compelling character. I absolutely loved's Giaovanna Bozzolo's contribution. One of the best Italian comedies.
½ May 29, 2011
Docudramedy? I guess. Mostly facts/opinions/experiences of Nanni Moretti, with some vignettes added for levity, not bad, worth a look.
July 1, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

I found this to be funny enough to recommend, even if it did drag in the middle section.
October 12, 2004
This would have been the first link to one of my eFilmCritic reviews, but this film actually manages not to be in their database. Until it gets added, you guys get the exclusive first look. Since I bet almost none of you have seen this film, it probably doesn't matter.

I?m pretty sure it?s possible to make an interesting film out of a mixture of documentary, travelogue, observational humor, and social satire. In fact, I might almost think that it would be impossible [i]not[/i] to make an interesting film out of those elements. At least, that?s what I would have thought before I saw this movie.

[i]Dear Diary[/i] is divided into three sections, and while each is better than the last, there aren?t enough for any of them to actually get very good. The first section is ?On My Vespa,? which features writer/director Nanni Moretti tooling around Italy on his motorcycle, commenting on various things he sees. I could do the same thing with a camcorder, and it probably wouldn?t be any less interesting. In casting himself as the main character, Moretti seems perhaps a tad narcissistic ? but if that?s the case, this must just be a version of himself and not the genuine article. After all, what kind of narcissist makes himself look like some sort of eccentric, the kind of person others seem to go out of their way to avoid?

Moretti casts himself as the kind of person who complains there are no good movies in Rome theaters in the summer, then goes anyway and talks to the screen. He directly criticizes other films ? did he actually get the rights to include clips from [i]Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer[/i] when all he does is call it awful, going so far as to show himself pestering the critic who had given it a favorable review? He says he?d like to make a whole film just showing drive-by shots of houses. That might actually have been less interesting than this, so I?m glad he refrained there.

Moretti offers some social commentary in the first section, but seems to hit his stride on that count in the second section, ?Islands.? He and friend Gerardo (Renato Carpentieri) decide to sail around to different Italian islands, purporting to be looking for a quiet place to work. From Lipari to Stromboli to Alicudi, Moretti looks for things at which to poke fun.

Chief among these is the conversion of Gerardo. In a café on Lipari, Moretti does an impromptu dance along with a film on TV. Gerardo, who has been studying James Joyce?s [u]Ulysses[/u] for thirty years, says he has never watched TV and cites an author who says that TV is nothingness. Later, on the boat, Gerardo catches a soap opera on the television, and becomes addicted ? while on Stromboli, he has Moretti ask a group of American tourists what happened with the plots on [i]The Bold and the Beautiful[/i], as the Italians are a few months behind.

It?s a relatively amusing plot, but Moretti goes to the well too often, turning Gerardo into something of a buffoon. More importantly, it?s hard to tell what Moretti is trying to satirize here. Is it an attack on people who think television is a lower medium, or does it paint television as exactly that?

It?s never very clear what Moretti is trying to say. Sometimes it seems like he goes after the self-important ennui of the Italian baby boomers, but later he doesn?t depict himself all that much differently. He has an obsession with one artistic medium but makes fun of obsession with another. He describes [i]Flashdance[/i] as the movie that changed his life, but when he meets Jennifer Beals on the street, she thinks he?s more than a little weird.

Things pull together a bit in the film?s third section, ?Doctors.? Cursed with an itch he can?t get rid of, Moretti visits dermatologists and allergists all around Rome, and all of them turn out to be wrong in their diagnoses. Watching Moretti get poked and prodded by a succession of doctors who then scribble down prescriptions that don?t help has a quietly comic appeal that the first two thirds of the film lacked, having been both louder and less subtle.

In the end, though, Moretti has issues in this section as well. The conclusion he draws is that doctors don?t know what they?re talking about, as though he had expected doctors to be infallible automatons, whose inability to make the right diagnosis was baffling. Doctors are, after all, human, and they can make mistakes. Moretti probably knows this, but of course it doesn?t make for as wry a conclusion.

[i]Dear Diary[/i] is pretty much like reading someone?s diary, except instead of juicy tidbits of gossip, there?s stuff about visiting the assassination spot of Pier Paolo Pasolini or going to the beach in knee socks. The film has moments of clarity, but Moretti seems mostly concerned with social satire that would be more effective if it didn?t feel so forced. Too many vignettes end abruptly, making it unclear why they were included in the first place. Rather than making much effort to connect them, Moretti simply lets them be, which might work as a device in a more compelling film, but here it feels as though he couldn?t be bothered to find a link.

Social satire has a long tradition in Italian cinema ? Antonioni?s [i]L?Avventura[/i] is just one film that comes to mind. Where [i]L?Avventura[/i] incorporated its critique into a story, however, [i]Dear Diary[/i] tries to force the critique to be the story, and it never quite works. There?s some good hiding in Moretti?s film, but it?s obscured by the problems of the form he chose.
August 18, 2013
Delightful Woody Allen-esque film about the everyday trials and tribulations of a movie-loving, moped-riding 40 year-old Roman director. Lovely soundtrack, some brilliant scenes - not so strong on narrative but that's not really the movie's raison d'etre. Won the Palme d'Or back in the day and still a lovely watch.
½ November 16, 2012
Moretti dimostra ancora una volta di essere uno degli autori italiani più personali e intelligenti, nonostante la forma sempre essenziale. Tre storie tratte dal suo diario, di umore diverso in cui spicca quella ambientata nelle bizzarre isole siciliane, inabitabili dall'uomo moderno schiavo della tecnologia e della televisione.
September 22, 2012
Pas le genre de film qui me fait vibrer, j'y vois plus du nombrilisme et de la masturbation intello qu'un acte genereux de partage de moments de vie. Et puis j'ai vraiment du mal avec les "personnages" de Moretti acteur, assez antipathiques et mal joues... Ce qui dans ce cas est assez etrange puisque c'est lui-meme que l'acteur/realisateur incarne. Ecrit, realise et joue par Nanni Moretti pour Nanni Moretti ?...
May 7, 2011
I thought that the whole film was very original and I really enjoyed the first part, the second slightly less, and I was getting a bit bored by it all by the third act. A fairly pointless film that will effect everyone in different way.
September 16, 2011
Nanni Moretti's Dear Diary is a semi-autobiographical film that made Moretti gain fame on an international level. Many critics have categorized him as the italian Woody Allen. Dear Diary is the story about the director, Nanni, whom we follow him on his journey in his normal life. The film is made up of three parts. The first one we follow him on his day off, in Rome where he loves to ride his Verpa scooter, and goes to see Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer on a hot summer day when there no people. The second part is about Nanni and his producer trying to find an island that is comfortable to work on, and they learn many interesting things about the inhabitants. The third part, Nanni gets an terrible itching through his whole body, and goes to almost every doctor in rome, he tries everything, but nothing works.

I would have found Dear Diary as a masterpiece, if it weren't for the last half of the movie, specially the itching part, that I found kind of slow and irrelevant to Nanni's work as a director. I want to see, a person struggling with his sickness while he tries to go on with his profession. The third part is actually based on a period in Nanni's life where he actually had a terrible itch. He was set to play in Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Double Life of Véronique but had to turn it down because of his illness. That could have been excellent to put in this movie, it would have been more exciting and more relevant.

My conclusion about Dear Diary is that it's a excellent autobiographical film, I specially love to see when Nanni rides on his verba through rome while Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" is played in the background. But rest of the movie is literately itchy. But still my thumb is up.
½ August 22, 2011
Film en 3 chapitres, la premiere partie dans les rues de Romes fait appel au genie humouristique de son auteur. La deuxieme, dans les iles Italiennes, est aussi delectables mais le troisieme volet sur la maladie ne m a pas convaincu.
½ June 2, 2011
J'aime beaucoup l'humour de Nanni Moretti dans ce film ! Extra le cameo de Jennifer Beals.
½ May 29, 2011
Docudramedy? I guess. Mostly facts/opinions/experiences of Nanni Moretti, with some vignettes added for levity, not bad, worth a look.
November 22, 2010
Not much too the film except a lot of long takes and a take on 3 different theoretical ideas
½ April 20, 2010
An extremely difficult film to understand if you're not italian.
July 1, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

I found this to be funny enough to recommend, even if it did drag in the middle section.
½ April 26, 2010
I loved this movie. Human and funny; aren't we though.
½ January 26, 2010
Sai cosa stavo pensando? Io stavo pensando una cosa molto triste: cioè che io, anche in una società più decente di questa, mi troverò sempre con una minoranza di persone. Ma non nel senso di quei film dove c'è un uomo e una donna che si odiano, si sbranano su un'isola deserta perché il regista non crede nelle persone. Io credo nelle persone, però non credo nella maggioranza delle persone: mi sa che mi troverò sempre a mio agio e d'accordo con una minoranza.
October 4, 2009
Mi parte favorita es Isole!
½ August 2, 2009
Its nice, funny or touching at times, some camera effect are good and the music well chosen. But nothing to be amazed about.. OK, its moretti, but nothing more than a simple little trip of a not very deep philosopher in Italia. Could have a been a real master piece if he had something more interesting to say ...or just have been braver and let more "poetry" invade the screen. Disappointing.
however, Im recommanding the movie if you like "true" movies....
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