The Lying Life of Adults is an Italian-language psychological period drama set in 1990s Naples. Adapted from a novel of the same title by Elena Ferrante (whose previous work includes My Brilliant Friend, which was adapted into an HBO series), The Lying Life of Adults centers on teenager Giovanna. As Giovanna’s adolescence progresses, her relationship with her image-obsessed parents begins to suffer. After overhearing an unflattering comment made by her father, Giovanna is determined to track down the one person who might hold all the answers. Keep reading to find out everything we know so far about The Lying Life of Adults.

the lying life of adults valeria golino as vittoria
Image via Netflix

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Watch the Trailer For The Lying Life of Adults

At present, there is no full-length trailer for The Lying Life of Adults. However, we do have two teasers for the series. The first clip is a series announcement, released on May 12, 2020. In the video, we see excerpts from the book which are narrated in the form of a voiceover by the on-screen version of Giovanna. The second clip is a teaser, released on November 8, 2022, which you can see above. The video begins with Giovanna overhearing her parents’ awful conversation, prompting her to seek out photographs of her Aunt Vittoria. Giovanna wonders whether she will find her aunt to be beautiful, or whether Vittoria is in fact ugly like her father said. However, when Giovanna discovers the photographs her curiosity only grows stronger when she sees her aunt’s face has been covered up in every single picture. When the two finally come face-to-face, Aunt Vittoria asks Giovanna if she still wears the bracelet Vittoria gifted to her when she was born, which Giovanna has never even heard of. Vittoria warns Giovanna to watch her parents closely and the teaser ends on a curious note when Giovanna asks Vittoria why she lied to her and Vittoria replies, “because it was a beautiful lie.”

When and Where Can You Watch The Lying Life of Adults?

As mentioned, the series was announced in May 2020, with a teaser following in November 2022. Since then, it has been announced that the series will release globally on Netflix on January 4, 2023. As is common with most Netflix shows, the six-episode series will be available to binge in its entirety on the day of its release.

Watch on Netflix

Who’s In the Cast of The Lying Life of Adults?

Giordana Marengo makes her on-screen debut in the role of Giovanna. Joining her are Alessandro Preziosi (Medici) and Pina Turco (The Vice of Hope) as Giovanna’s parents Andrea and Nella, Valeria Golino (Rain Man) as Aunt Vittoria, and Adriano Pantaleo (Carlo & Malik) as Rosario. Other cast members include Rossella Gamba as Angela, Azzurra Mennella as Ida, Raffaella Rea as Costanza, Biagio Forestieri as Mariano, Susy Del Giudice as Margherita, Giuseppe Brunetti as Corrado, Maria Vera Ratti as Giuliana, Gianluca Spagnoli as Tonino, and Giovanni Buselli as Roberto.

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What Is The Lying Life of Adults About?

Galeria Golino and Giordana Marengo in The Lying LIfe of Adults
Image via Netflix

The Lying Life of Adults follows teenager Giovanna as she deals with the difficulties of adolescence. To make matters worse, Giovanna’s parents make it heartbreakingly clear that they don’t approve of the woman she is turning into. One day, Giovanna overhears her father calling her “ugly”, furiously ranting that she is turning into his sister, Vittoria, who the family rarely talks about. Like any curious teenager, Giovanna’s interest in her mysterious aunt is on high alert after hearing her parents’ discussion, and she makes it her mission to track down the woman and uncover the secrets that surround her family. As Giovanna begins spending more time with her aunt, she learns that there are two drastic sides to the city of Naples: the wealthy and refined area where she grew up, and the darkly exciting, less polished environment where her aunt resides. Here’s the official synopsis:

The lying life of adults is a powerful and singular portrait of Giovanna’s transition from childhood to adolescence in the 1990s. The search for a new face, after the happy one of childhood, oscillates between two consanguineous Naples which, however, fear and hate each other: the Naples above, which has given itself a fine mask, and the one below, which pretends to be excessive, trivial. Giovanna oscillates between high and low, now tumbling, now climbing, bewildered by the fact that, up or down, the city seems without answer and without escape.

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What Is the Background of The Lying Life of Adults?

Image via Netflix

The Lying Life of Adults was adapted for the screen from a book of the same title by author Elena Ferrante. Ferrante is an Italian author, and her book made its Italian-language debut in November 2019 under the title La Vita Bugiarda Degli Adulti (The Lying Life of Adults). Almost a year later, in September 2020, the book was published in English, following the television series announcement. Like any book-to-television adaptation, it will be interesting to see which aspects of the book make it to the screen. One slight change that has already caught our attention is that in Ferrante’s novel, Giovanna is only twelve years old when she overhears her father’s harsh words but watching Netflix’s short teaser leads us to speculate this incident happens when Giovanna is older in the television series. It’s unclear at present whether this will have any major effect on the rest of the storyline, but of course, small differences are to be expected in any adaptation.

Who Are the Creators of The Lying Life of Adults?

Italian production company Fandango (not to be confused with the US-based ticketing company) has joined forces with Netflix to produce and distribute The Lying Life of Adults. Fandango has produced over 200 titles to date, with one of their many projects including Elena Ferrante’s previous book-to-screen adaptation My Brilliant Friend. The series will be directed by the award-winning Edoardo De Angelis, whose previous work includes Indivisible and The Vice of Hope. The Lying Life of Adults will be the third collaboration between De Angelis and his wife Pina Turco, who as we previously mentioned will star as Giovanna’s mother Nella. Their previous collaborations include The Vice of Hope and Natale in casa Cupiello (Christmas in the Cupiello House). Ivan Fiorini and Domenico Procacci have been credited as executive producers with Ferran Paredes credited with the Series’ Cinematography. Elena Ferrante, Laura Paolucci, Francesco Piccolo, and Edoardo De Angelis have been credited as writers.

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