Caterina in the Big City (2003)



Critic Consensus: This witty movie succeeds as both a modest teen coming-of-age story and a satirical microcosm of Italy's political climate.

Caterina in the Big City Photos

Movie Info

A 15-year-old provincial girl moves to Rome and finds her new private school is a microcosm of the cultural and political divisions of Italian society. When her parents, Giancarlo and Agata, move from a seaside town in Tuscany to an ailing aunt's apartment in the big city, Caterina is ready for something new. Dad, a teacher in a tech school, has undisguised social ambitions and is delighted to see a list of famous last names attending his old alma mater, where Caterina will also be going. Her class is split between revolutionary no-globals and rich kids who parrot their parents' conservative ideas. Both sides try to bring the new girl into their sphere of influence. She's first drawn to Margherita, a mercurial hippie princess and soon falls in with the flighty Daniela and her circle of rich, cell phone totting mall-rats. As her parent's marriage disintegrates in the face of her father's social frustrations, Catherina finds comfort in her extended family and hope for the future in a budding romance (and perhaps the prospect of emigration someday) with a boy from Australia.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now


Flavio Bucci
as Lorenzo Rossi Chaillet
Margherita Buy
as Agata Iacovoni
Galatea Ranzi
as Livia, Margherita's Mother
Martino Reviglio
as Gianfilippo
Zach Wallen
as Edward
Sergio Castellitto
as Giancarlo Iacovoni
Claudio Amendola
as Manilo Germano
Alice Teghil
as Caterina Iacovoni
Federica Sbrenna
as Daniela Germano
Carolina Iaquaniello
as Margherita Rossi Chaillet
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Caterina in the Big City

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (19)

On the surface, Caterina in the Big City is like Mean Girls, Italian-style. But it's much more layered than that.

November 3, 2005
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Caterina in the City is a coming-of-age story, of course, but its adult characters are also well rendered.

October 7, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

It's an adolescent-to-adult drama that never veers into maudlin or sugary territory. There's a realness on screen that translates to any culture.

Full Review… | September 22, 2005
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Though Caterina is unusually well-acted and crafted for this kind of movie ... Giancarlo is the one character who makes the movie special.

September 8, 2005
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Played in a manic, volcanic manner by Castellitto, Giancarlo is a constant source of humor and embarrassment.

August 26, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It's not a satire, it's a family drama whose social and political thoughts flicker like a neon sign on the fritz. Alas, sentimentality is the movie's pilot light.

Full Review… | July 22, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Caterina in the Big City


This Italian comedy-drama is quite hilarious at times. While it may seem as a coming of age story, it has serious undertones and social commentary on Italy's politics and society in general. It's quite entertaining, but overall it's on a light side and easily forgettable.

Gabriel Knight
Gabriel Knight

surprisingly refreshing tale of a rural family moving into the big city to fulfill the dad's lifelong dreams that turn out to be not so dreamy. Caterina, in contrast, dazzles with her quiet, innocent, optimism, and her transformation from naive village girl to urban brat and back just brings a nice warm feeling to the heart... particularly to a city rat who is feeling trapped by village isolation

Aaron Chuah
Aaron Chuah

very good coming of age tale set in contemporary day rome. caterina moves from the country and is exposed to alternative vs. preppy (like mean girls) and the politics of communism vs. fascism. this movie ends hopefully, for there is a place for the majority of society that does not fall under the 'privieged.' caterina finds her place and fulfills a dream.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Caterina in the Big City Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Caterina in the Big City on our Movie forum!

News & Features