I admit I had to watch this a second time to really understand and appreciate it. The first 40 minutes, while not shallow, primarily due to the great acting by Kasia Smutniak (Elena) and Phillipe Scicchitano (Fabio), and much less so by Francesca Arca (Antonio). Seems that all he has to do is take his shirt off, put on a sulking sexy expression, and that was pretty much his role. I have never seen him act before, but this seems a role that is quite naturally easy for him. I almost abandoned it in the first 40 minutes, but stayed with it because of the chemistry between Elena and Fabio – they played their roles so well – Elena with an almost aloof, but sexually alluring role as the more responsible one, and Fabio as the always cheerful, totally open, and admiring gay friend. The first 40 minutes made it seem like just another movie in a nice setting about a group of young people having parties and lots of sex and generally enjoying their lives. But it got much more serious rather quickly after that. We do a forward flash of 13 years. Elena and Fabio have a very successful restaurant/bar and it seems the only fly in the ointment is Elena wants to expand with another bar and Fabio is content with the one they have. She has two children with her husband, for whom she seems to care little. He does little except drink, watch and play sports, and forget to pay the bills. And, we will find out, play with other women. Elena earns the money from her business, takes care of the household, is the only responsible parent to the children Elena is diagnosed with cancer, serious cancer. Her family and Fabio surround her with concern, help, and true love while her stud husband gets angry and runs off to another woman. Two characters that are endearing and extremely well-acted are the little daughter Guenda and the hospital room mate Egle during Elena’s struggle with cancer. In fact, the little actress who played Guenda (Maria Sole Paccinni) was one of the highlights of the second half of the movie. Her facial expressions, her body language and mannerisms, and her often curt, but quiet one-line responses were simply heart melting as she watches in childish horror her mother slipping away. Antonio finally comes back, and tries to be a decent person, but that seems a stretch for him. His way of consoling his dying wife is to make love to her in the hospital when she is terribly ill from her treatments. In the conversation they have just before that, she tells him she always loved him, and for exactly what he was. She never wanted him to change. I interpret that as meaning, she didn’t really need him for anything but sex, since that seems to be all he was capable of. I admired her character greatly, and I think we should not look upon her as a woman so in need of his sexuality that she endures unfaithfulness and irresponsibly just to keep it. Instead, I saw her as a woman so capable, so talented, so strong that she only kept him around for it. She didn’t need him for anything else. When we see strong, capable, successful men with a babe on their arm, we admire them. When we see a strong, successful woman with a stud muffin – we see a woman so weak she will keep a man just for that. Quite a double standard. We never are told whether she dies or not. There is a flashback scene at the end where they go to the beach where they first made love that allows us to interpret it either way. A brilliant device to end the movie, I thought. I will keep my interpretation to myself, so that you can find your own. A wonderful movie. Stay with it and it will really draw you in.