For Italian director Gabriele Muccino, working in Europe was always easier than working in America. A simple phone call to his favorite actress was all that had been required to get a film made in the Old World. Across the pond, however, Muccino had to wade through a sea of agents, managers and executives before even getting a meeting with a favored actor. This went on to explain well why Muccino made four films in six years in Italy, but virtually none in America, despite signing a two-picture deal with Miramax following the success of his breakthrough film, "The Last Kiss" (2001) - a humorous look at two twenty-something men coming to grips with accepting the responsibility of adulthood. The film managed to crack the ever-elusive American market, but any advantage he gained was crushed under the weight of a bureaucratic Hollywood system that once embraced - aesthetically, at least - his Italian predecessors. Though never content, Muccino retained his sanity - and a large, eager audience - by continuing to work in his home country.