Emily Mody - Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle

Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2018 at 06:00 PM

Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle directed by Mike van Diem is a Dutch, comedy/drama film. The story follows a Dutch farmer named Gauke (played by Gijs Naber), whose life is upended after losing his farm in the floods of 1953. After meeting a woman in the chaos and falling in love, Gauke decides he wants to make a name for himself before committing to her. He cycles to Italy where he settles and makes a living growing tulips. After becoming a legend of the region, Gauke seemingly disappears. Thirty years later an Italian police inspector (played by Giancarlo Giannini) enlists the help of Gauke’s daughter, Anna (played by Ksenia Solo) to discover what truly happened.

Tulipani is a fun, light hearted watch. There were some story elements that were more dramatic but for the most part, I feel that this film is a comedy. Tonally, Tulipani came off somewhat theatrical and two dimensional in its cinematographic construction. There was something that felt a little disjointed about the filming style. I am not sure if this is partially intentional due to the fact that it’s a story about a story but unfortunately, I did not enjoy that aspect. Some of the stylistic choices came off cartoonish. I suppose this quality did match its comedic plot though, which worked well. I feel that I would have enjoyed this film more if the story had focused on either comedy or drama. I felt that the writing tried to incorporate too much of both and it left me feeling somewhat unsettled in my understanding of the story.

Tulipani reminds me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding directed by Joel Zwick. My Big Fat Greek Wedding follows a young Greek woman who falls in love with a non-Greek man. She struggles with getting her traditional family to accept him. This film is very funny but there are also serious moments, in particular when it comes to the main character having to define cultural identity and accept family values. There is a similar comedic and tonal quality to both films. They feel similar in how the story is expressed although My Big Fat Greek Wedding feels a little more seated in reality. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is also expressly a romantic comedy in my opinion and although it does have other elements, it still holds true to its defining genre.

Overall, I think that Tulipani is a fun watch. You get to see some beautiful Italian countryside and enjoy a laugh or two which is always nice and well worth the price of admission. I wish the writers had stuck to one genre and focused on doing that very well but that is a personal preference that has very little weight on the overall quality of the writing. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a relatively light hearted film about love and family heritage. 

Tulipani is 92 minutes long. It is rated 14A for language, sexual content and nudity.

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