Loose Cannons (2010)
“Loose cannons are used to create disorder, to put things in places where no one wants them to be, to disturb everything and upset plans.” Who is the real loose cannon in this story?
Synopsis from IMDB: “Tommaso is the youngest son of the Cantones, a large, traditional southern Italian family … On a trip home from Rome …Tommaso decides to tell his parents the truth about himself. But when he is finally ready to come out in front of the entire family, his older brother Antonio ruins his plans.”
Loose Cannons seems less of a coming-out film than one where the protagonist is trying to figure out how to balance family needs versus his own wants and desires. His family doesn’t know that he’s gay and has a boyfriend back in Rome and also that he wants to be a writer. Despite plans to come out and get what he wants – to be kicked out and not saddled with the family business – things don’t go as expected.
An apparent theme might be, as in many films of this genre, to be who you are in order to be happy. We don’t know all the backstory from Tommaso’s life in Rome, but it seems like he has things fairly figured out there. He has a boyfriend, he writes, and he studies literature. But the twist for him is that when he comes home, he seems lost in his family.
So, is this about the family having this leverage or power over him that causes him to lose himself? His father has quite the guilt trip over him after his brother comes out. But the scenes where he has started working at the family business could not be more over the top in making it known that he does not want to be there. Is he thinking about another life?
When Tommaso describes his love for his boyfriend, Marco, it sounds like he is deeply invested. When Marco shows up though it’s like he is a different person. I won’t go into the commonality of this plot device in gay films like this because this one came before a few others. There are moments where Tommaso almost loses Marco because he can’t be himself where his family is concerned.
There are so many losses and missed opportunities in this story. Tommaso’s grandmother had an unrequited love. Vincenzo appears to have a mistress. Antonio missed his chance with Michele. Alba says she can’t get close to people. Luciana’s boyfriend ran out on her. It seems almost like Tommaso is following in his family’s footsteps of being unhappy in love for whatever reason.
At one point Tommaso is talking with Alba (his new business partner) about the book he was writing. It was about “two people who aren’t together anymore. One suffers, the other doesn’t.” Then he comments that, “maybe it should be about not being afraid to leave things behind because the stuff that matters stays with us, even when we don’t want it to.”
Are we to infer that maybe he should leave his family behind? Marco? Everything? The ending of the film was… interesting. I like how it blends the grandmother’s and Tommaso’s stories together, but (without going into too much that would spoil it) it left me wondering what did he actually leave behind and why?
Overall, I enjoyed the film. It wasn’t a comedy so much as drama with some comedic relief. It was well produced and acted, and the story dived into important themes like love and loss, sacrifice, and being true to oneself.