Parenthood stirs up a wealth of mixed emotions in this drama from Italy. Carlo (Stefano Accorsi) and Giulia (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) are a couple in their late twenties who realize they've crossed the final threshold into adulthood when Giulia discovers she's going to have a baby. Even though Carlo has already settled down, he sees parenthood as the first step towards becoming the sort of middle-class suburbanite he's never respected, and he's not happy about it. Carlo's friends are also having mixed feelings about the onset of maturity: Adriano (Giorgio Pasotti) can't decide if he should go through with his marriage to Livia (Sabrina Impacciatore), Paolo (Claudio Santamaria) is trying to find a way out of going into business with his father, and Alberto (Marco Cocci) seems to be waging a one-man war against monogamy by seducing as many women as possible. Meanwhile, Giulia is having her own misgivings about parenthood, and her mother Anna (Stefania Sandrelli) is torn between happiness for her daughter and dread that she's now old enough to be a grandmother; Anna's malaise isn't eased by the lack of compassion shown by her husband (Luigi Diberti).
~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide