On its surface, the lightweight Italian coming-of-agedrama "Caterina in the City" falls somewhere between the nothingnessof a tweenybopper popcorn movie and the darker peer-pressure sensibilitiesof 2003's hard-biting "Thirteen."
Underneath, it's also a political satire in which middle-schoolcliques take on the veneer of fascists, communists and socialists, whilethe activist parents of these children have slipped so far into passionaterhetoric that they seem almost surreal.
Trying desperately to keep her head above water while navigatingthis sea of supercharged social mores is naive, soft-spoken, 14-year-oldCaterina (Alice Teghil), recently transplanted to sophisticated Rome froma provincial corner of the Mediterranean nation. Alternately harassed andcourted by gaggles of grungy hippie girls and partying sexpot popular types,what little self-identity she has is constantly being trampled by the strongerpersonalities of her class's queen bees.
Meanwhile, at home the poor girl's pride is helpless inthe wake of her bitter, blustery, unstable father (Sergio Catellitto),who fancies himself an underappreciated intellectual and can't wait toride his daughter's coattails into the socio-political circles of her friends'parents -- among them a government minister and a famous liberal activist.Honest and loving, but dim and meek, her mother (Margherita Buy) is nohelp either.
Continue reading: Caterina In The City (In Subtitled Italian) Review