Over a year ago, I had a post called “Calling Invisible Women.” It was about a novel of the same name, and also about how we older women can use nail polish to get noticed in a good way. By the way, I liked the novel by Jeanne Ray fairly well, but felt the ending was very rushed and trite.
I have another pop culture “invisible women” item to tell you about, a movie. It’ll come as no surprise to my readers that it’s a foreign movie. What can I say? I love foreign movies. It often seems to me that foreign directors will tackle subjects that aren’t commercial enough for the U.S. This one isn’t new; it’s an Italian film from 2000 and is called “Pane e tulipani” or “Bread and Tulips.”
The plot in a nutshell: Rosalba is a middle-aged, somewhat frumpy housewife who’s on a bus tour vacation with her family, her self-centered husband and sons. At one of the stops, she accidentally gets left behind… and no one notices. She finally decides to hitchhike home, and that’s where the fun and the wonder begin. Her husband begins to miss her, but only for the housework that she used to do (he’s busy with his mistress), and he gets the bright idea to hire a private detective to find Rosalba and bring her home. Oh, except he’s too cheap, so instead he gets a young, bumbling employee of his — whose only qualifications are that he reads a lot of detective novels — to find her.
There’s lots of lovely symbolism about bread and flowers in the movie. We need both in our lives. The “bread” is necessities like food, water, and shelter, and the “tulips” are love, respect, attention, and literally flowers. And nail polish!
I’ll be back tomorrow with a couple of new pretty polishes.
“Le anime come i corpi possono morire di fame: dateci pane, ma dateci anche rose.” — Italian proverb, meaning “Souls, like bodies, can die of hunger. Give us bread, but give us roses, too.”