“The Lying Life of Adults” revolves around Giovanna, a young girl from Naples whose parents have a communitarian mindset, which affects the way Giovanna behaves. The story focuses on her growing up in an area where her father is well respected because of his intellect. Andrea, Giovanna’s father, believes one needs to always have a book in their hand and should read a lot. He is very strict when it comes to studies and expects the best from his daughter. However, one day when Nella, Giovanna’s mother, brings her report card home, he is disappointed because she gets bad grades. He then compares her to Vittoria, his sister and Giovanna’s aunt, whom the family loathes. Why does his father compare her to Vittoria? What are the similarities between the two? Let’s find out.
Why Does Andrea Compare Giovanna To Vittoria?
When Giovanna gets bad grades, in a fit of rage, Andrea says Giovanna looks like her aunt Vittoria, who is ugly. According to him, Vittoria’s way of living was monstrous. Giovanna overhears the conversation where she is compared to her aunt and starts wondering what she looks like. She gets insecure about her looks and asks her friends if she is getting ugly. According to her friends, she was not ugly on the outside, but her behavior was unpredictable. We see her thinking about the comparison so much that she finally decides to act on her curiosity. She goes through her family photos and finds a few photographs of her aunt. However, to her dismay, the face of her aunt was colored black by her father, Andrea. He despised her so much that he decided to hide her face from the family photos. The thought of looking like aunt Vittoria does not leave Giovanna’s mind, and she asks her mother why they do not visit Vittoria anymore, to which her mother tells her that when she was young, they sometimes did visit Vittoria, but since she fought a lot, they stopped visiting her. She also tells Giovanna that she is nothing like Vittoria and that her father is just angry when he compares her to Vittoria. But a teenage mind is fragile and stubborn.
Giovanna decides to visit her aunt alone and asks her mother to talk to Andrea. When Andrea agrees, Giovanna gets excited to meet her. Andrea takes Giovanna to where Vittoria lives, and the place looks dingy. She lives in hard conditions, whereas, compared to her, Giovanna has a much better life. Upon their first meeting, Vittoria looks strange and irritated by life. Giovanna did not like meeting her the first time as she did not feel welcome; however, she decided to meet her again. From here, we see a bond developing between the two of them. When Vittoria tells Giovanna about her first love, Giovanna is astounded. She, being a young girl, does not know what true love is, but Vittoria teaches her a few things about her idea of love. Vittoria is a woman who does not care about society; she lives her life the way she wants to. Perhaps that is what Andrea did not like. He is someone who likes to be in control, and Vittoria tells Giovanna that Andrea is not a good man and that he destroys everyone around him. The idea of Giovanna looking like Vittoria only came to Andrea’s mind in anger. He later confesses that he never meant it and that he is afraid Vittoria will take his place in Giovanna’s life.
Does Vittoria Change Giovanna’s Outlook On Life?
Yes, after hanging out with Vittoria, Giovanna changes as a person. She starts living on her terms and starts standing up for herself. She adopts her aunt’s mannerisms and even starts cussing just like her. We see a brand-new person emerging, and then the typical coming-of-age storyline starts. She starts noticing how adults around her just talk about things they do not mean. She starts getting irritated by their behavior and becomes a rebel. Additionally, she starts calling her friends “small kids” when they listen to what their parents say, so not listening to her parents has become a way of life. Vittoria trains Giovanna to live life on her own terms; otherwise, her father would make her do things he pleases. He always taught Giovanna that getting good grades was her duty and that studying a lot would make her look intelligent. However, Giovanna flunks her classes and even gets into trouble for attacking a bully.
Also, Giovanna buys a bike with the money Vittoria gives her and becomes independent. She starts visiting her more often, and despite her parents’ disliking it, she stays with Vittoria. At first, Giovanna was an oblivious girl who did not know anything about reality; she lived in a bubble. However, upon meeting Vittoria, she learned a lot about adulthood. For instance, Vittoria asks Giovanna to look closely at the adults around her; they are all hiding something. Giovanna notices a few things about her mother at a party around another man and deduces that she is cheating on Andrea. She gets pretty upset about it, but later we find out that it was Andrea who was actually cheating. This affects Giovanna’s life as she drifts apart from her friends too. She starts hating her father as much as her aunt did. Also, Vittoria had sent a bracelet to Giovanna that never reached her. This irritates her even further. Her father had given the bracelet to his mistress instead. However, Vittoria does her job and tells Giovanna’s mother about it. This is how everyone finds out that Andrea has been cheating on his wife. Giovanna does get the bracelet, but soon Vittoria takes it away from her. As the series progresses, the bracelet goes places, but in the end, it comes back to Giovanna. The significance of the bracelet was that it meant a lot to Vittoria, and even though she got upset with Giovanna, she never stopped loving her. The bracelet was a gift to Giovanna that only belonged to her.
Now, as far as Giovanna’s love life goes, she gets confused about what love is since she starts liking Roberto, who is very religious on the outside but is the opposite on the inside. She notices that even he has bad intentions for her, just like other men. The guy only pretended to look clean but was just like the other adults around her. She decides to move on and not get intimate with him, even though it looks like that was her intention at first. She probably decided she was too good for him and that she deserved better. In the end, we see that Andrea notices the changes Vittoria has brought into Giovanna’s life. He offers Vittoria a job as a maid, and even though at first, she is hesitant, she takes up the job. She also informs Giovanna that she will be leaving her place and going to work in a place where rich ladies stay, but Giovanna does not seem so happy about it. Giovanna knew Vittoria would not like it there. We see that Andrea and Vittoria fight, but at last, they make up.
See more: ‘The Lying Life Of Adults’ Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Did Giovanna Want To Meet Aunt Vittoria?