If there’s one thing you should know about the House of Gucci movie, it’s that it’s two hours and thirty-seven minutes long. Plus trailers, that’s basically a three-hour experience, and with all that Italian-ness onscreen, you’re surely going to wish Lady Gaga would shove a panini in your mouth, or at least pour you a drink. (You’re also maybe going to want a cigarette.) It’s a serious commitment, and we want you to be prepared. Of course, no one is more committed to the bit than Gaga herself, who famously spent nine months in character. So in that same spirit, we’ve compiled a list of things to do before (and after) seeing the film to help you get in the House of Gucci mind-set. We even got all dressed up and went to Gaga’s dad’s trattoria on the Upper East Side. Salute!
1. Do some reading
If you want the full story and don’t mind spoilers, the book that House of Gucci is based on is just as much fun as the movie and will give you all the context you need — in addition to scenes that didn’t make the cut (spoiler alert: including a board meeting that ends in bloodshed). If you just want a quick recap, though, this Guardian profile with the real Patrizia Reggiani is also a hoot.
2. Get in the groove
Coincidentally (or not), this year marks the 100th anniversary of Guccio Gucci’s founding — you guessed it — Gucci. To mark the occasion, the brand compiled playlists of every single song in which Gucci is mentioned, and there are a lot. Like hours and hours worth. Play them as you walk to the theater or in the days leading up to the premiere.
3. Dress the part
The most obvious thing to do is swing by a Gucci store and try stuff on. But there are also ways to dress the part without spending thousands of dollars. If you’re going as Gaga’s character, Patrizia, put on a tight dress, heels, and a fur coat — and get a manicure. For Maurizio Gucci, a turtleneck and some glasses will do. Maybe stop by James Veloria or Arcade or one of the RealReal stores for some vintage. Gold jewelry is a must. Try New Top or Popular Jewelry by Canal street, and while you’re at it, buy some Gucci knockoffs, too. (Although this would deeply offend Patrizia.)
4. Drink an aperitivo
Now you’re all dressed up, so you may as well have a notte. Start with an aperitivo at Bar Pisellino or Dante in the West Village. Eataly also just opened Bar Milano at its Flatiron location, and the marble bar at Marea is a really luxurious perch. Wherever you end up, even if it’s just your couch, an Aperol spritz or a Negroni could help the film go down more smoothly.
If you want a martini instead, head over to King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel — that’s where the real-life Patrizia stayed when she first touched down in New York. (After the family booked her a “third-rate” hotel and she upgraded herself, according to the book.)
If cocktails aren’t your thing, maybe smuggle a few bottles of Peroni into the theater. Or if you’re feeling fancy, buy a bottle of Gaga’s Dom Pérignon Champagne.
5. Eat some Italian food
Did you know that Gaga’s dad owns an Italian restaurant on 68th Street called Joanne Trattoria? We went and checked it out and, honestly, maybe skip the entrées and order a bottle of Gaga wine with dessert instead. You’d be hard-pressed to find one at a wine store, and it actually tastes pretty good. I got notes of rah rah-ah-ah-ah and Gaga, ooh-la-la. Make a reservation, though, because it was packed!
For some risotto Milanese, hit up one of the Sant Ambroeus locations. Or if you prefer an afternoon screening of the movie, head over to Lodi by Rockefeller Center for a decadent lunch. Patrizia had an apartment at Olympic Tower nearby, and I’m certain if she lived in New York today, she’d be a regular there.
5. Practice your accent
If you’re a few martinis deep, chances are you’re going to try to do an Italian accent and maybe even speak Italian, who knows. Maybe download Duolingo beforehand or practice in the mirror by saying, “Father, son, and House of Gucci” over and over again. The good news is that no one in the film gets the accent 100 percent right, and it’s fine.
7. See a psychic
In real life, Patrizia was very close with her psychic, Giuseppina Auriemma, who is played by Salma Hayek in the film. (Another spoiler alert: so close, in fact, she reportedly served as a middle-woman between Patrizia and the hit men she allegedly hired to kill her ex-husband.)
8. Ride a Vespa
In the film, a pivotal scene between Gaga and Adam Driver takes place on a Vespa. Vespas are very Italian and fun to ride, so maybe take a Revel to the theater or find someone who will let you hop on the back of theirs. Simpatico!
9. Sip an espresso
Like we said, the movie is long, and you don’t want to miss a beat.