It is called the House of Gucci Syndrome, and it seemingly affects many movies in Hollywood. Named for the 2021 MGM film House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott, the syndrome causes any and all Italian characters in movies to speak among themselves in Italy in English with an Italian accent.
The syndrome most recently struck the new Michael Mann film, Ferrari, which was produced by the Burbank, California-based STXfilms, and distributed in the U.S. by the New York City-based Neon. STXfilms is also the international distributor.
The film, starring Adam Driver, who also starred in House of Gucci, received a standing ovation that lasted nearly seven minutes at its Venice Film Festival premiere on August 31, 2023, but was criticized in Italy because of the somewhat irritating practice of having the Italian characters (played by the aforementioned Driver as Enzo Ferrari, and Penelope Cruz as his wife, Laura) speak among themselves in English with Italian accents.
Commented actor/producer Luca Barbareschi, “They invented another language. Cruz, for example speaks English with a Spanish accent and is trying to sound like she is from the Romagna region [where Ferrari was based]. She doesn’t sound good.”
However, Ferrari was praised by the governor of the Abruzzo Region, Marco Marsilio, who presided over a press conference at the Excelsior Hotel in Venice’s Lido to highlight a few sequences of the movie that were shot in the Abruzzo mountains in central Italy.
Some have advised watching the film dubbed in order not be distracted by the stunted Italian accents.
The film is based on the 1991 biography, Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine by Brock Yates. Cast members include Shailene Woodley, Gabriel Leone, Sarah Gordon, Jack O’Connell, and Patrick Dempsey. Ferrari was allowed to have stars Adam Driver and Penélope Cruz promote the film despite the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike because Neon is a non-AMPTP company (the Hollywood alliance of producers that is negotiating with the unions).