As Needed (Quanto basta) (Francesco Falaschi, 2018): Brazil | Italy

Reviewed by Kassandra Ni. Viewed at the 2019 Santa Barbara Film Festival.

How to Make the Perfect Comedy

~A guided recipe for making the most of unfortunate circumstances~


Ingredients for Quanto basta (2018):

– 1 Protagonist: Main character that is placed in an ill-fated situation, or carries a point of view of pessimism. Stubborn with a hint of anger-management issues.

– 2-3 Supporting characters: Ordinary people who carry different attitudes in comparison to the protagonist. A contrast in point of view. Somehow feels motivated to help the protagonist or become apart of their situation. Usually ill-fitted to do so.

– Setting: Any setting will do.

– A rising action that usually includes a montage of the protagonist slowly becoming a different person. Someone that is more relatable–usually with associated characteristics of kindness and thoughtfulness.

– A internal struggle of identity. To act selfishly or selflessly?

– A predictable ending with a positive outcome that will leave the audience feeling happy.



Step 1: Meet Arturo (Vinicio Marchioni), a hot-tempered chef who has just been released from a prison holding cell after having a meltdown in a restaurant with one of his co-workers. Arturo is sentenced to a few weeks of community service at a local organization that helps people with Aspergers. Arturo is annoyed that he has to do community service and acts harshly towards Guido (Luigi Fedele), who is interested in learning how to cook.

Step 2: Weeks pass by and Arturo starts to warm up to Guido. By this time, Arturo is also working as a chef in a fancy restaurant and is being offered the opportunity to become the head chef to a new restaurant. At this time Guido has applied to a cooking competition where Arturo is listed as his mentor.

Step 3: Being forced to attend this competition; Arturo must decide on whether it is more important to mentor Guido, whom he has grown closer to, or to accept the offer as head chef at this new restaurant. In this decision, who will get chopped?


Quanto basta (2018) is a unique comedy that infuses not only a interesting view to the culinary scene in Italy, but also some unique characters. The portrayal and inclusion of people with Asperger’s is not widely seen in films–so this was, in a way, a very special component in the plot and narrative to this film. Besides it providing a sort of realism to this film, it also highlights a group of people that aren’t represented as much in film and media. Definitely a must see!

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