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Following in the footsteps of her father, actor-cum-director Ugo Tognazzi, and her brother, director Ricky Tognazzi, Maria Sole Tognazzi makes her helming debut with the emotionally-amped melodrama L'Uomo che ama (The Man Who Loves).
At its core, the film embodies an exploration of gay-influenced heterosexual perspectives and attitudes in the early 21st century. Pierfrancesco Favino stars as Roberto, a straight Turin-based pharmacist emotionally attached to his younger brother, the homosexual Carlo (Michele Alhaique).
Roberto witnesses Carlo's delirious happiness with lover Yuri (Glen Blackhall) and feels extremely envious that Carlo has found someone.
Though Roberto has proven himself capable of landing successful relationships in the past - his previous lovers include sexy hotel employee Sara (Ksenia Rappoport) and the drop-dead-gorgeous art gallery proprietor Alba (Monica Bellucci) - these relationships invariably ended in heartbreak, with Roberto either being dumped (in the case of Sara) or abandoning his partner (in the case of Alba).
As time rolls on, he begins to feel a palpable sense of his own lingering happiness and dissatisfaction, and attempts to reconcile this with his convictions that everyone else in the world is completely satisfied with life.