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The cinepanettoni (singular:cinepanettone) are a series of farcical comedy films, one or two of which were scheduled for release annually in Italy for the Christmas period.
The saga of cinepanettoni
From 1983 until 2011 in Italy were made every year around Christmas time a series of comedies, known as cinepanettoni (Italian: cine "cinema", panettone a type of sweet bread traditionally eaten at Christmas).
These films are usually focused on the holidays of stereotypical Italians: bungling, wealthy and presumptuous members of the middle class who visit famous, glamorous or exotic places. Films were set for example in the Netherlands (Merry Christmas, 2001), Egypt (Christmas in Egypt – Natale sul Nilo, 2002), India (Christmas in India – Natale in India, 2003), America (Christmas in Miami, 2005, or Christmas in New York, 2006), Cortina d'Ampezzo (Christmas holidays in Cortina – Vacanze di Natale a Cortina, 2011). Directors included Carlo Vanzina, Enrico Oldoini, and Neri Parenti.
Many of the screenplays are not related to Christmas, other than those set in Italy.
The protagonists (almost always Massimo Boldi and Christian De Sica) joined by other comic couples (Sabrina Ferilli, Ricky Memphis, Biagio Izzo, Alberto Sordi, Claudio Bisio, Alessandro Gassman, Michelle Hunziker, Ezio Greggio) and international guests (Danny DeVito, Luke Perry, Ronn Moss) find themselves struggling with their holidays and the various messes that combine abroad. The children of these will often be at the end of the story the only ones to solve complicated situations created by their own fathers, who do nothing but get involved in intrigues with the underworld or love affairs.
Italian critics[who?] have often considered such films of little ethical or educational value, because they contain large amounts of scurrilous and vulgar phrases and characters providing a bad example of education to young viewers. It often happens in stories that characters played by De Sica and Boldi, mature and elderly people, loom too large on the scene, preventing younger actors from making a mark. Critics[who?] have also said that this line of films, including the authors, actors and directors, represented and emphasized the era and the power of Silvio Berlusconi, and the ideals of his supporters.
Filmography of cinepanettoni
- Vacanze di Natale, directed by Carlo Vanzina (1983) Italy
- Vacanze di Natale '90 (Christmas holidays of 1990s), directed by Enrico Oldoini (1990) Switzerland
- Vacanze di Natale '91 (Christmas holidays of 1991's), directed by Enrico Oldoini (1991) Switzerland
- Vacanze di Natale '95 (Christmas holidays of 1995's), directed by Neri Parenti (1995) United States
- Vacanze di Natale 2000 (Christmas holidays of 2000's), directed by Carlo Vanzina (1999 – celebrating the 3rd millennium) Italy
- Merry Christmas, directed by Neri Parenti (2001) Netherlands
- Natale sul Nilo (Christmas in Egypt), directed by Neri Parenti (2002) Egypt
- Natale in India (Christmas in India), directed by Neri Parenti (2003) India
- Christmas in Love, directed by Neri Parenti (2004) Switzerland
- Natale a Miami (Christmas in Miami), directed by Neri Parenti (2005) United States
- Natale a New York (Christmas in New York City), directed by Neri Parenti (2006) United States
- Natale in crociera (Christmas cruise), directed by Neri Parenti (2007) Dominican Republic
- Natale a Rio (Christmas in Rio), directed by Neri Parenti (2008) Brazil
- Natale a Beverly Hills (Christmas in Beverly Hills), directed by Neri Parenti (2009) United States
- Natale in Sudafrica (Christmas in South Africa), directed by Neri Parenti (2010) South Africa
- Vacanze di Natale a Cortina (Christmas holidays in Cortina d'Ampezzo), directed by Neri Parenti (2011) Italy
- Vacanze ai Caraibi - il film di Natale (Holidays in the Caribbean - the Christmas movie), directed by Neri Parenti (2015) Italy Dominican Republic
- Natale a Londra (Christmas in London), directed by Volfango De Biasi (2016) United Kingdom
- Poveri ma ricchi (Poor but rich), directed by Fausto Brizzi (2016) Italy
- Natale da chef (Christmas as a chef), directed by Neri Parenti (2017) Italy
- Poveri ma ricchissimi (Poor but very rich), directed by Fausto Brizzi (2017) Italy
- Super vacanze di Natale (Super Christmas holidays), directed by Paolo Ruffini (2017) Italy