This obscure indie film’s title plays off Lady Caroline Lamb’s description of George Gordon, Lord Byron: "mad, bad and dangerous to know." Although the film’s main character may be considered “Byronesque” the story actually has nothing to do with Byron, and in fact is really more of an homage to the 1930’s screwball comedies. The farcical plot is replete with mistaken identities, absurd caricatures of foreign royalty, and preposterous pratfalls which can only be described as slapstick.
And yet it is marvelous! The cast are relative unknowns, but their acting abilities cannot be denied. There is a refreshing lightness of touch in the direction and the actors’ timing is impeccable. When one of the characters lisps “Oh Mith Tate!” after one of the aforementioned pratfalls it literally caused everyone in the theater to burst into laughter.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, which might spoil the story for those who may wish to download or order the DVD of this film (it had only a limited run in theaters). Having said that--spoiler alert: it is basically a love story combined with a case of mistaken identity which is caused by a wanton lie perpetrated by the villain in order to recoup his stock market losses via an inheritance.
As the movie’s up-and-coming Italian director, Fabio Ricatto said when interviewed by Antonio Scolari of la Repubblica, “Many of Shakespeare’s plays have just such absurd plots. Because they are universal, these stories ring true.”
Run time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
as Gui, le
duc de Forgeré
ne as Miss Verity Tate
as Dee Sepçion
as Frau D’ulence