"Especially on Sunday" is something of a tribute to the late Federico Fellini in style and structure, an Italian anthology film with three separate directors helming stories by Tonino Guerra, whose many screenwriting credits include Fellini's "Amarcord," "Casanova" and "Ginger and Fred."
And the first of the three tales is directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, who also gave us "Cinema Paradiso."
But none of these stories is particularly compelling and at least two are a bit bizarre and abstract for my taste.
The first story, "The Blue Dog," stars Philippe Noiret as a barber and shoemaker who is hounded by a dog with a blue splotch on its head. Obvious and not very successful in its comic overtones, this one is perhaps the biggest disappointment.
Next is "Especially On Sunday," which has Bruno Ganz picking up a man and woman on the road (Ornella Muti, Andrea Prodan), falling for the woman but finding himself unable to get her alone. Alternately vulgar and silly, this is easily the least successful.
And finally, "Snow On Fire" has a woman (Maria Maddalena Fellini, sister of Federico) who surreptitiously watches her son and daughter-in-law making love. This one has a point but it's not at all satisfying.
There is also a wrap-around device that has a young boy capturing a bird and being told that if he lets it go, the bird will bring back a flock to the lad. Though brief and muted, this is perhaps more appealing than any of the main stories here.
"Especially On Sunday" is rated R and contains explicit sex, nudity, profanity and vulgarity.