The acting is pretty unremarkable. That is about the closest thing to a positive to be found in Gianni Di Gregorio's latest. It's not good acting, it's just not bad; it doesn't stand out one way or another. Pretty much everything else on offer here stands out as bad.

Salt of Life tells the tale of Gianni (played by Di Gregorio - all the characters keep the actors' names). He's a retiree who can't afford to buy a Jaguar so instead wants to find a younger woman. The goal here is to paint Gianni as a cute, bumbling older man, but keeping an eye out for opportunities to cheat on his wife does not make Gianni likable. It seems Di Gregorio tries to counter this by very rarely showing the missus - out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, even if the character was single, he's still a very unlikable, creepy old man.

An alternative title for Salt of Life could be Diary of a Dirty Old Man. The film tries to humanise the dirty old man, make him relatable, but it fails miserably. The main motivator for Gianni trying to find a new lease of life is to offset the misery of coping with his overbearing and demanding mother, though the specific idea of chasing women comes from his friend, Alfonso. The mother is another irritating character we have to endure, though at least she is the kind of woman people may have encountered - her overbearing nature isn't overstretched on-screen. Alfonso the friend, meanwhile, acts as a mentor to Gianni; because creepy leches need mentors.

But enough about irritating characters: let's not ignore the plot, or lack thereof. What you get are scenes which are only loosely connected to each other, though chronological at least. The thread with Gianni's attractive neighbour seems like it could have been developed into something interesting, but is instead left woefully underdeveloped. The goal was to produce a film based on tone rather than plot, a goal which, when it is achieved, makes for an incredibly powerful film. But when the goal is missed, it results in a film which isn't even enjoyable when under the influence of unhealthy amounts of alcohol.

Eventually this tedious collection of scenes comes to a halt, and the ending really is worth mentioning. It seems that someone working on the film said: 'Up until now we've been making an awful film, can we at least make the ending insane?' It comes out of nowhere, with no indication that things are wrapping up (adding to the sense of tedium). Salt of Life suddenly changes from a drawn-out yawnfest into a completely out of place, bizarre montage, which equally abruptly turns into the end credits.

Avoid at all costs, perhaps even set up a charity for the poor souls who have to run the projector and endure the film more than once.

Richard Duffy