Check in to a “Five Star Life”
By Skip Sheffield
Imagine spending each week in a world-class five-star resort, all expenses paid, plus earning a paycheck?
Such is the premise of “Five Star Life,” a lovely Italian film starring Margherita Buy as Irene, a professional “mystery guest” who assesses five-star resorts to see if they are living up to standards of utmost service, comfort and cuisine. The posh resorts depicted are the real thing, and they cooperated fully with the making of this film.
Irene (Margherita Buy) is just one such “Mystery Guest” or inspector. Irene takes her job very seriously. She is not afraid to call out hotel managers for the slightest infractions.
“Five Star Life,” directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi, is also about the emotional life of a late-40s career woman at a crossroads. Irene has broken up with her fiancé Andrea (Stefano Accorsi) who in turn has taken up with a younger woman (Alessia Barela).
Irene has a harried housewife younger sister, Silvia (Fabrizia Sacchi) who has two young daughters and a husband who is a professional musician (Gianmarco Tognazzi).
Because she spends so much time away at the great resorts of the world, Irene is not very close with her sister or her girls, and she is chronically late to family dinners and appointments.
Then Andrea drops a bombshell. He has impregnated his girlfriend and he feels obligated to support her through the birth of the child.
“I don’t want to have a child with a stranger,” Andrea protests. “She’s forcing it on me.”
Irene is not so sure about that, but the fact someone else his having a child with the man she almost married, she is given pause. Is her glamorous life at too great a cost? If she is never a mother can she still be happy and fulfilled?
In an attempt to connect with her nieces Irene takes them with her to a fancy resort in the Alps. The girls don’t quite appreciate her pampered, privileged life.
“Five Star Life” is an ideal film for career woman who worry they may be missing something. The answer is not so simple for Irene.
“This is your journey,” we are told. ”The route you take is up to you.”