A young married couple, Giovanna (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and Filippo (Filippo Nigro), have fallen neatly into their routine. They have two kids, and have lost their ability to communicate with each other, except when they argue.
Giovanna likes to watch from her kitchen's window what happens in the facing window of another building. There lives a handsome man who eventually ends up becoming the incarnation of Giovanna's unfulfilled dreams, those she had to give up in order to "grow up". She wanted to be a pastry chef, and instead ended up becoming a supervisor in a fabric. Now, she just bakes some cakes in order to make some extra money: her passion has turned into a hobby.
Everything changes when an unknown quantity enters the scene. While walking in the street, Giovanna and Filippo meet an elegantly dressed old man (Massimo Girotti), who seems to have lost his memory. Giovanna feels pity for him, but not enough to do something to help him. Filippo, on the other hand, talks Giovanna into allowing the old man to sleep in their house at least for one night, until the police can discover who he is.
The couple has two kids, who immediately like their new "guest". That one night becomes more time, and as Giovanna discovers new things about the old man, she starts to like him more. He remembers his name, Simone, but not much else. Despite that, he knows that he can cook quite well, and even gives some cooking tips to Giovanna.
Thanks to "Simone", Giovanna will also meet the man of the facing window, Lorenzo (Raoul Bova), and join him in a quest to discover who Simone is. They only know that the old man has some numbers tattoed on his skin, showing that he was in a concentration camp during World War two. Another clue is a beautiful love letter, that gives Giovanna and Lorenzo a big surprise, and a good lead.
In a way, Simone allows Giovanna to see her life from another perspective, and to realize that her dreams can become a reality. As he says, "Io non posso fare pi' niente ormai. Lei invece pu' ancora cambiare, Giovanna. Non si accontenti di soppravvivere. Lei deve pretendere di vivere in un mondo megliore, non soltanto sognarlo" (loosely translated, "I cannot do anything anymore. You can still change, Giovanna. Don't be content to merely survive. You must aspire to live in a better world, not only dream about it")
But what ultimately Giovanna has to ask herself is what she really wants, above all. "Facing windows" is a film about choices, and life, marriage and routine, reality and dreams. It tackles difficult subjects, for example infidelity and homosexuality, and has some scenes that are not apt for minors. But mostly, it is a film you probably would like to see.
Of course, "Facing windows" has its faults. For example, the ending didn't make me completely happy, but all the same I think that this movie is excellent. While I was watching it in my dvd player, I remember reviewing some scenes I liked quite a few times, and thinking how great it was to be watching the movie at home and not in the cinema, in order to be able to do just that. When something like that happens, you just know you have found a movie worth watching and recommending :)