A Special Day (2012) is a remake or adaptation of the original film from 1977. The film follows two characters, Gina and Marco through Italy, and Gina awaits for a meeting with a local politician.
The film beautifully captures moving images of Italy from shots in Rome to others in local shops and cafes.
The film also captures an insight into the political economy Italy in a “post-feminist society.” Unfortunately, this commerce is often tied to sex trades and shady behind the scenes social contracts and agreements that will later lead to higher rankings in politics, entertainment and other industries.
Where the lines are blurred is how high up these “trades” are being orchestrated and facilitated by officials. Are these agreements constructed at the grass-roots level? Meaning, will a mother willingly offer her daughter to someone for sex in exchange for money, and/or a higher position in a particular industry?
Additionally, it seems as though emphasis is placed on beauty, and “the finer things in life.” – flashy cars, restaurants, expensive jewelry and clothing and so on.
“Nice things cost money,” is the quote that is often brought up in dialogue between the characters Marco and Gina.
Gina, is 19 years old, and she is an arts student who is looking to make it as an actress. Marco, is a driver/escort, who is trying to make ends meet.
“You are now working,” says Gina. “Yes, I am now working.”
These lines of dialogue demonstrate the significance of work and gender politics of the post-feminized world of Italy. Whereas a man works, and usually he is born into a neo-caste system where he will normally not see a higher rank in social standing, a woman can move up the ladder depending on who she knows and how she uses her assets.
“They only take pretty girls,” Gina says in a conversation at a restaurant with Marco. “They will take care of you as long as you are pretty. They don’t take ugly girls,” she goes on.
When Gina’s meeting with the politician is delayed, her and Marco take a journey through Italy together and naturally, come to different levels of friendship and quite arguably love. It is obvious, however, that Gina is the Alpha figure in this relationship and maintains not only control from Marco but a distance that allows her to manipulate him but also call onto him when she is in need of assistance.
Although it is not explicitly stated in the film, I believe Marco loves Gina. However, Gina will not give him the opportunity because of his social standing, and even if she did love him, she would not receive the social support from her family organization as she is under surveillance and discipline from her mother.
In the end, Marco drops off Gina to meet with the politician. The meeting is rather short, with brief dialogue, and eventually Gina finds herself in a sex deal with the politician. The scene briefly covers sexuality as she unzips his pants, and cuts to the next scene where she puts back on her high heels and stumbles to the bathroom. In the bathroom it is barely light, and in the mirror Gina looks at herself with a ghastly look of shame and disgust. Her worth is nothing more than sex. Gina is an object, and her body is her financial transaction.
Gina returns home revealing very little to her mother about the exchange or her day, and she takes a shower only to realize she is back she started, nowhere.
Marco in his anxious and hopeful state attempts to repair one of the heels Gina left in his car. He goes to her apartment and screams out to her. Gina sits in front of television set, stone faced, melancholy, depressed and unmoved. She ignores Marco. Marco is a fool.