The Price of Nonna’s Inheritance

In a time whereby some sectors of the film industry have become breeding grounds for political activists, it’s encouraging to see a non-political, edgy, and slightly offensive comedy return to theatres. Netflix’s recent release of “The Price of Nonna’s Inheritance” is a welcomed break from the agenda-laden films audiences have recently become accustomed to. 

“It’s rare to find a somewhat black comedy with a black, cynical humor, a bit of Woody Allen’s [humour] and therefore it’s welcome”, says Christian De Sica – who plays the film’s seething yet compliant husband and father. It’s a film about a good family plotting and doing dreadful things, and not entirely for the right reasons. Like people in the real world, the characters’ intentions in the film waver between good and bad, and sometimes with little to no remorse for the consequences of their actions. If the basis of good humour is honesty, then this comedy scores high marks – as ludicrous as the premise may seem.


The story follows a family of four comprised of a daughter with a victim mentality, a son scared by his own shadow and petty-minded parents. Yet this dysfunctional family manages to charm us, due in large part to the cast’s impassioned performances. When their grandmother’s six million dollar inheritance is threatened by a Casanova conman, the family has four days to stop their Nonna’s impromptu wedding. Aside from saving her life, the family is equally concerned – for their own interests – to protect Nonna’s six million dollars.

Ridiculously, but not entirely outside of the realm of plausibility, they decide to plot the Groom’s murder. And the entire scenario is almost relentlessly funny, delivered beautifully in a caustic, self-referential Italian manner. When the granddaughter Alessandra (played by Dharma Mangia Woods) is called out for not pushing the conman over a cliff when she had the chance, her mother takes aim: “You were always like that as a girl, weren’t you Ale. You took dance but ditched the recitals. You took swimming but skipped the races. ‘Help, I get anxious, I’m slow’. You have to get over this my love”.

Director Giovanni Bognetti describes the film’s protagonists as “a normal family that has to deal with something like murder and does it with the normality of their relationships”. The murder plot, although callous and despicable, is a necessary comedic device that brings a broken family together and asks the audience a simple question: How tied are we to our conditioning? Bognetti is by no means advocating for murder, but as Anna Finocchiaro who plays Anna (the Nonna’s daughter) puts it, it’s just funny to watch how “Anna plans this murder like an outing to IKEA”. In an age where films are so often propagandized, here comes a film that entertains with a mix of absurdity, brute honesty and genuine humour. The way we use to do it.

Watch The Price of Nonna’s Inheritance on Netflix

Massimo Volpe is a filmmaker and freelance writer from Toronto: he writes reviews of Italian films/content on Netflix