House of Gucci, the epic, outlandish story of a fashion family’s feuds that is finally available for home viewing, has earned praise for its mix of comedy and drama and go-for-broke performances by Lady Gaga, Jared Leto, Adam Driver, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.
Some critics have also accused the Ridley Scott film of being messy — but what some of these critics may not realize is how much less messy the film is than the reality of the Gucci saga. As we’re about to explain, House of Gucci actually streamlines and synthesizes decades of sloppy and disreputable behavior by various members of the Gucci family, condensing their antics into a movie that is much more sleek and straightforward that the true story of the Guccis.
Here’s what’s real and made-up about House of Gucci. Many spoilers follow.
How Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani Really Met
House of Gucci gets their first meeting partly right — down to Maurizio (Adam Driver) thinking the future Mrs. Patrizia Gucci looked like Elizabeth Taylor. But Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 book House of Gucci, on which the film is based, adds a layer of intrigue: Yes, they met at a party. But while in the film, they meet seemingly by chance when Reggiani mistakes Maurizio for a bartender, in real life she knew exactly who she was. Forden writes that a friend had told Reggiani about Maurizio, and that he was an heir to the Gucci dynasty.
Also, Maurizio took more initiative in real life than in the film. Forden writes:
“Maurizio had never heard of Reggiani, and he wasn’t used to making overtures to girls — they usually approached him — but he summoned up his courage and moved over to the the other side of the room where Patrizia was talking with her friends. Her found his opening at the drinks table by handing her a tall, thin glass of punch. ‘Why have I never seen you before?’ Maurizio asked.”
Also, there is no indication that the meeting in the law library — which the film presents as a calculated meetup by Patrizia — really happened.