It’s great to see Tina Arena and Paul Mercurio on Australian screens again. Together they play traditional Italian parents to one of the central protagonists, Angela (Antoniette Iesue). Set in the early 1950s soon after birth, Angela is promised in marriage to Robert (Daniel Berini), son of the very influential and connected Joe (Mirko Grillini)… a man her father, Sal (Mercurio), is indebted to.
Twenty-one years on, despite changing times, fading traditions and a boyfriend, Angela expects the promise is forgotten. Robert has returned from studying at Oxford in England and walks into his own legal practice, and is in favour of the marriage. In fact, he’s in love with her.
Angela is against the union, however she cannot disappoint her parents. Conveniently, the decision is made for her when a disagreement between Angela and her boyfriend see them part ways. Whether the plot feels believable or not, Angela is soon sleepwalking through the wedding preparations and finds herself at the altar. As expected, the newly married couple cannot reconcile and they spend all their time apart.
It’s difficult to decide where Promised is pitching itself. The poster would suggest a comedy, and while there are some light moments, it is more family drama. There are good performances throughout and curiosity does keep you wondering where things will end.
Promised opens nationally tomorrow. Check your local guides for screening details.
Directed and written by Nick Conidi
Stars Paul Mercurio, Antoniette Iesue, Mirko Grillini, Tina Arena, Daniel Berini, Sunday Barca Irving