And so it's on to the next stage of our 11 course meal at Ristorante Casetta dell'orso.
What They Say
Italy, Rome. When she was a child, Nicoletta was taken in by her grandmother so that her mother could remarry. Now grown up, she leaves everything in the countryside behind to visit her mother and her mother's second husband, a restaurant owner. To her surprise, her stepfather did not know his wife had a daughter!
A restaurant she had previously visited, Casetta dell'orso is hosted by a cast of dreamy, cool gentlemen who all happen to wear glasses. This curious restaurant's staff include cameriere (waiters) Claudio, Luciano, and Vito, GiGi the sommelier, and chefs Furio and Teo. Because women find the staff so enchanting, business is bustling and reservations are extremely hard to come by at this little Roman treasure.
Amongst all this, Nicoletta decides, on a whim, to work at the restaurant. Gradually, she begins to become interested in one of the gentlemen...
Delicious food and dreamy gentlemen await at the Ristorante Casetta dell'orso. For everyone who works there, a tender connection to the hearts of each visitor is spun, and the curtain raises on a story about these first-rate Italian gentlemen in spectacles.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 6: A Husband and Wife
"Well, the only ones who know what goes on between a married couple is the husband and the wife." —Claudio.
That statement from Claudio is the theme to this episode, where we are presented with two domestic dramas, both apparently pitting long-suffering wives against their seemingly faithless husbands. The first story is that of Lucia and her wayward husband (we don't get his name). The couple, as Lucia tells us in the opening monologue, always make up after a fight by going out to dinner. On this occasion, they happen to be at the same restaurant that Furio, Teo, and Nicoletta are dining at (Furio and Teo had hoped to introduce Nicoletta to a good restaurant, but it appears that the chef has changed, and the food is no longer that special). It's a small world, of course, when at a slightly later time Lucia goes to a wine bar alone, and when looking to the owner for advice on a good wine, the owner instead refers her to Gigi, who happens to be present in the same place.
The second husband and wife of this episode happen to be Vito and his wife Marina. Nicoletta happens to meet Marina at Furio's cooking class. Nicoletta wonders how that marriage works, and Claudio suggests that she ask Vito herself. Later at a wine bar (which looks rather familiar), Vito spins a grand tale, which Nicoletta expresses doubts about, which Vito does nothing to dispel. Vito speaks of himself as a grand playboy, and his manner is certainly that of one.
In the end, Lucia plays a little trick on her husband, making him think that she is cheating on him. The husband comes to the wine bar looking for his wife, and is met by the bar owner telling him that she's gone off with another man (Gigi, but she's only really taking him out to dinner to repay him for the wine advice the other day), while Vito overstates Gigi's appeal to the ladies. In the end, the husband gets some advice about how to keep his marriage together, and we learn the secret to how Vito is happily married. While he may be friendly with the ladies, there is only one woman in his life: his wife. Eventually, just as the Husband, having waited alone at home for hours, is about to head out, Lucia comes home. And then, they finally have a heart to heart talk. It seems that they come to an understanding. The husband promises that he reserved a table for them at a nice restaurant to make up for their spat. He is a bit surprised, however, when the wife accepts the offer, since he obviously had not made any such reservation yet. And so making an excuse, he rushes out to get a table at the restaurant across the street, which he has never been to before. Of course, when he opens the door, there is Vito (we already recognize the door as the Husband is heading to it). And a table will be ready.
The affairs of men and women are complex matters, filled with misunderstandings and crossed signals. Here, we are presented with two examples of the complexity of domestic life, presented in a mature way. For a medium that is more often used to present exaggerated tales and extraordinary visuals, we have here instead a lighthearted, but still fairly substantial drama that one could easily see made into a live-action series. For those looking for a slice of life drama that does not revolve around the trials and tribulations of a whiny teenager, this show may be for you.
Japanese 2.0 Language; English subtitles.
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard