Breaking Bad Italian Style, this highly topical comedy finds a misfit band of seven unemployed academics reinventing themselves as drug-dealing criminals in a bid to stay afloat in the midst of their country’s foundering economy. Pietro Zinni (Edoardo Leo), the gang’s neurobiologist ringleader, hits on the idea of creating a not-yet-illegal chemical high after losing his research funding and recruits his motley crew of fellow nerds to put his scheme into action. Inevitably, his well-laid plan doesn’t turn out quite as expected. Deservedly a big success in Italy, first-time director Sydney Sibilia’s I Can Quit Whenever I Want (Smetto Quando Voglio) is both a skilfully plotted farce and a penetrating satire of a society that has Latinists working as petrol-pump attendants and where out of work professors play down their academic pasts as regrettable youthful errors.
I Can Quit Whever I Want shows at the Odeon Covent Garden at 8.45pm tonight.