The Lying Life of Adults follows Giovanna as she thrives on learning more about herself, especially when she finds out that her aunt is just like her. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Giovanna navigates her life, struggling to be what society considers ideal. She fails in every subject at school, and her parents, André and Nella, can’t help but notice that she is just like her aunt, Vittoria. She even looks strikingly like her.
Giovanna overhears them comparing her to her aunt. She shared her inner demons with her friends, Angela and Ida, the daughters of Mariano and Costanza.
Giovanna grew up with them in the same type of left-wing upbringing, and their families are quite close as well.
One day, she discovers her father’s old photographs and realizes how much he hates his sister, Vittoria. He has literally tried to remove her face from their pictures. Giovanna wonders if she is just like her aunt and if her father hates her too.
She confides the same to her mother, who offers her a map that will help her find her aunt. André eventually comes forward and asks Giovanna if something is wrong, clarifying that she is nothing like his sister.
He knows she is pursuing Vittoria. He warns her that she will use her to hurt him. André still volunteers to take her to Vittoria but asks her not to listen to whatever she puts in her ears.
André brings her to the Pianto, a poor place where people live in their own bubble away from Naples. It’s also where Vittoria lives. Giovanna meets her alone, and to her surprise, Vittoria is nothing like what her father described.
At the same time, even she has some resentment toward André. It turns out that she lost her lover, Enzo, because of him.
On their first meeting, Giovanna learns about a bracelet her aunt sent for her when she was born. She never received it. Upon asking, Giovanna’s parents claim that Vittoria is lying about that bracelet.
Giovanna kept meeting her aunt, who didn’t follow a particular schedule and popped up at their house at any time. In their second meeting, Vittoria told her how she lost Enzo.
She was with Enzo despite knowing that he already has a family. When Enzo intervened in Vittoria’s family matters, André resorted to telling Enzo’s wife the truth. Months later, Enzo passed away from the pain he had to suffer after their secret got out.
To Giovanna’s surprise, to this day, Vittoria still somehow has a great relationship with Enzo’s wife, Margherita, and Enzo’s kids, Giuliana, Corrado, and Tonino. Giovanna gets along with them and also finds Tonino cute.
Vittoria’s words stayed with Giovanna. Vittoria had advised her to watch her parents closely. Even their most ordinary gestures hide some horrible secrets.
One night, Giovanna sees her mother rubbing her foot against Mariano’s foot under the table. She suspects that her mother is having an affair but keeps it to herself.
She treats her mother rudely the next day and moves on. Eventually, she introduces Vittoria to Angela, Ida, and their mother, Costanza. Vittoria takes a special note of the bracelet Costanza wears.
Vittoria drives the kids to a cathedral, and then they arrive at a market, where they meet Enzo’s kids. Everyone gets paired up to look after a particular shop.
While everyone is busy, Giovanna musters up the courage to tell Vittoria about her mother’s affair. She asks her aunt to keep this a secret.
Vittoria doesn’t tell André about Nella, but she does tell Nella about her bracelet, which is in Costanza’s hands now. The confrontation breaks both families apart. André was having an affair with Costanza. He leaves Nella while Mariano leaves Costanza.
A year goes by. Giovanna, Angela, and Ida continue to despise their parents. Angela starts dating Tonino while Giovanna becomes a horrible mess. She fears Vittoria and her contempt. She loathes Corrado and his friend, Rosario.
She felt some relief after meeting Roberto, Giuliana’s boyfriend, and a religious public speaker everyone admires and loves, who sat down with her. He talks to her as if she really matters to him.
For the very first time, she felt like making love to someone. She drops her bracelet back in her aunt’s coat and leaves the premises where Roberto is going to give a speech.
The next time she met Roberto, she had read a bit about the gospel. She strikes up an interesting conversation and makes an impression on him. He ends up asking Giuliana to bring Giovanna to Milan with her.
Vittoria realizes that Giovanna is trying to steal Roberto from an innocent girl like Giuliana. She confronts Giovanna in front of everyone and insults her right away by calling her a snake.
Giuliana doesn’t hold anything against Giovanna. They both continue to get along and join Tonino and Angela, who are struggling with their own relationship, for a movie. Angela feels Tonino isn’t right for him as he respects her too much and would hesitate to get intimate.
Tonino ends up fighting with some men trying to flirt with Angela at the theater. The group breaks up when Giuliana blames Angela for instigating this mess. Tonino leaves for Venice, while Giuliana invites Giovanna to join her on a trip to Milan.
The Lying Life of Adults ending explained in detail:
Does Giovanna end up with Roberto?
On their way to Milan, Giuliana reveals the bracelet that has been handed to her, which originally belongs to Giovanna. Giuliana tells her the story behind it.
During their time there, Giovanna tried to compete with Roberto and the intellects of his friends, while Giuliana grew insecure. Though Giovanna assured her that he won’t leave her if she stayed the way she is, it didn’t work.
When they board the train back home, Giuliana finds out that she has lost her bracelet. Luckily, Roberto has it. Giovanna, all alone, goes back to Milan to retrieve it.
She spends a night with Roberto. However, Giovanna refuses to sleep with him. She observes how he gave back the bracelet like it’s a towel or toothpaste and how he doesn’t even mention Giuliana, who loves him so much.
What happens to Vittoria?
Giovanna comes back home and reunites with Vittoria, who is proud of Giovanna as she has been good to Giuliana. Vittoria claims that if her father made Giovanna the way she is, then he isn’t that bad.
Earlier, André had offered Vittoria a job. She lets Giovanna know about it. She will be working as a maid for a friend of Costanza. As it will be a day and night job, she will be moving to Possillipo.
When Giovanna tries to return her bracelet, Vittoria asks her to keep it. Giuliana doesn’t want it, and Vittoria gave it to her just because she was upset. Before Giovanna could leave, Vittoria advised Giovanna to choose who she sleeps with wisely.
Where does Giovanna end up?
From the very beginning, Ida showed immense interest in writing more than in academics. She leaves a book for Giovanna on her Vespa. She reveals that her parents are ashamed of her because she failed school, but she doesn’t feel the same about herself.
Ida is happy that she failed because she plans to spend time writing. She no longer desires to be worthy. She desires to be indecent. She tells bits and pieces of the novel she is working on and asks Giovanna to come and meet her where they agreed to.
After sleeping with Rosario and leaving the bracelet at his place, Giovanna shows up at the spot where Ida is waiting for her. They board a bus and leave the city for a new adventure.