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.


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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.

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Flavio Bucci
as Lorenzo Rossi Chaillet
Margherita Buy
as Agata Iacovoni
Galatea Ranzi
as Livia, Margherita's Mother
Martino Reviglio
as Gianfilippo
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
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Critic Reviews for Caterina in the Big City

All Critics (38) | 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.

Nov 3, 2005 | Rating: B+

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

Oct 7, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

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.

Sep 22, 2005 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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

Sep 8, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

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

Aug 26, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4

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.

Jul 22, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Caterina in the Big City

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


[font=Century Gothic]"Caterina in the Big City" starts with Giancarlo(Sergio Castellito), a teacher with dreams of being a writer, finally getting a transfer to Rome after years of trying and taking his wife, Agata(Margherita Buy), and daughter, Caterina(Alice Teghil), along with him.(Giancarlo also has dreams of hobnobbing with the influential parents of his students.) Caterina is a shy teenager who sang in the local chorus. At her new school, she gets caught in the crossfire between the two poles of political thought in Italy. Her first friendship comes from the left, when Margherita(Carolina Iaquaniello) takes her under her wing.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Caterina in the Big City" is a charming, pleasant coming of age story about making friends and learning what kind of person you are going to become. But it might have helped if I had a better understanding of Italian politics and society. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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