I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Smetto Quando Voglio)
Imagine Breaking Bad with the dark elements replaced with comedy.
Unsurprisingly, I Can Quit Whenever I Want was a massive critical and box office success in Italy from the moment it opened.
Pietro (Edoardo Leo) is a neurobiologist reasearch assistant who loses his job just as his wife is expecting a baby. That his boss, research Professor Seta (Sergio Solli), is preoccupied planning a cruise at the same time, lights a fuse in Pietro.
That fuse burns brighter when he catches his tutoring student Maurizio (Guglielmo Poggi) paying for drugs instead of his lessons.
Pietro follows Maurizio to a club where Maurizio offers him a 100€ cocktail which Pietro accepts “only because [he’s] thirsty.” Upon learning that Maurizio has paid 50€ each for two “disco pills,” inspiration strikes.
He decides to create his own molecule for a smart drug not included on the Italian Ministry of Health’s official list of banned molecules.
His displaced colleague, computational chemist Alberto (Stefano Fresi), can put together the psychotropic drug that Pietro has imagined, one that can act on the serotogenic system with endogenous agomists: C11 H15 N O2. Basically Ecstasy.
Much of the humor comes from the clash of cultures; the academic world is at odds with the real one.
Alberto is frustrated that he can’t perform the standard double blind studies to test the drug before selling it.
The “test” is in the club. Seeking some data, he approaches a clubgoerwith the line “I’m part of the psychotropic sales team in the restroom.”
Pietro recruits his fellow displaced academics to help with production and distribution. Each has a unique area of expertise essential to the operation.
For example, Arturo (Paolo Calabresi), a professor of classical archaeological and urban mapping, “knows Rome better than anyone” and has an unlimited access parking pass is recruited as the driver.
The script is clever, the cast is perfect and the laughs are molti.
Ci vediamo al cinema!
Director Sydney Sibilia is already planning a sequel. “I get sick just thinking about the next film, they’ll all be lying in wait for me, like snipers”.
Italy, 2014, 100 minutes, Italian
Saturday, November 14th at 6:00pm Sunday, November 15th at 7:05pm at the Tivoli Theatre.