What ‘House of Gucci’ Teaches Us About Relationships


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Released in November 2021, “House of Gucci” offers insight into the dynamics and potential red flags of a relationship

Dee Elkerson

Spoiler alert — This article contains information that may give you a heads-up as to what will occur in the movie; however, you will definitely look at the events that transpire in a different way and even reflect on your life and relationships after reading this article.

There have been many articles on the plot of the movie, “House of Gucci,” so I will not write another one. Instead, I will focus on the lessons we can take from the movie concerning relationships. Here are some of the lessons you cannot afford to miss.

Have you heard the line, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”? 

When Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga) says she doesn’t know who her husband Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver) is, Maurizio informs her that he is a Gucci and discusses all that comes with his last name. 

Maurizio points out that although she is married to him, Patrizia was not born into his family. Meanwhile, Maurizio knew he was part of a family with a long legacy of secrets and traditions that an outsider would not change. 

There is another line in which Maurizio says, “I don’t hate you, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with you.” This line sends the message: Do not make future plans with me. 

Overall, be careful around anyone who uses the words “hate” and “you” in the same sentence. Other important lessons are listed below:

Be Careful When Working With Family

There are scenes depicting betrayal by multiple family members, including Patrizia, Maurizio and Paolo Gucci, Maurizio’s cousin. 

Paolo filed a lawsuit against his brothers Roberto and Giorgio, his father, as well as Maurizio. He also played a role in sending his father to jail for not paying taxes. 

Elsewhere, Maurizio gave away priceless Gucci shoes as a sign of trust in a business deal. He gave them to an Investcorp stakeholder, who did not know the value of the shoes. Maurizio’s uncle Aldo had to point out the gold leaf on the bottom of the shoes to verify their authenticity. 

…be careful around anyone who uses the words “hate” and “you” in the same sentence.

Aldo realized that his nephew betrayed him because no one would have had access to the shoes, much less had the opportunity to give them away. Maurizio’s disregard for the priceless shoes was a precursor to the lack of loyalty toward his family and the family name. 

Aldo was saddened when he learned how the outsider obtained the shoe and knew his power to negotiate had left with the presentation of the gift. He never previously thought that his family would be why he went to jail, nor lost ownership of the company.

It is easy to trust family members. You may have grown up with them and forged a bond, but everyone has aspirations and motivations that are not always shared and can differ from yours. 

Sometimes, it may be cost-effective to have a family member work in the business. You may not have to pay them salary and benefits because they reap benefits from the access of being in the family. They get to ride in the company car or go on the company vacation and eat meals at fancy restaurants when business discussions take place.

Another misperception is that family members will want you to succeed and do all they can to help you and your business grow. Such is not always the case. Jealousy and unfulfilled desires can cause family members to betray trust or act not in the best interest of the individual, family or business. 

Therefore, it can be challenging working with family members, who can cost you more than an outsider when it comes to time, solving problems and restoring a reputation.

Not everyone, including family, is happy when you move forward. Family members may believe they are forgiven for their harmful actions because they are family. They also may assume they do not owe you an explanation for their actions, just like when Maurizio gave the shoes away. 

Additionally, with family, you might see them regularly, so you may want to refrain from bringing up past actions to avoid disharmony. Family members can choose sides, which negatively affects the family and can be costly to the business.

Recruit Talent based on Skills, Not Relationships

Every successful business needs a good manager to make sure the company is making a profit. 

Hiring family members that are not skilled in managing business affairs can cause the downfall of a business. Earlier, we discussed why family members might be assigned crucial positions in the business. A good manager should know how to read company data and pivot around unexpected changes or obstacles.

In the movie, Maurizio was told he was spending millions of dollars even though the business was in the red. He did not like what he heard, but the numbers did not lie, and, without removing Maurizio from his position, the company would not have survived.

Simply being a family member does not mean you have the skills to manage finances and run a successful business. Data and analytics must be reviewed regularly not by a family member, but by someone who understands the implications of the data. 

Not everyone, including family, is happy when you move forward.

The losses the Gucci business experienced demonstrate the importance of having someone with demonstrated knowledge of economics, finance, technology and data management to ensure consistent growth and profit. 

Maurizio was in a position where he was not equipped with the business skills to save the company from ruin. 

Choose the best person with the right business skills to manage your financial and business affairs, not simply who you like or are related to.

Notice Negative Comments Made in Public

How do you know if a relationship is not operating at the best level for you? There is a simple method: Be mindful of embarrassing comments about yourself in front of others. There is a ski scene when Patrizia tries to impress Maurizio’s friends, only for Maurizio to constantly correct and embarrass her. 

A person who cares about you would not embarrass you by continuously pointing out errors or faux pas you made, which may make you feel uncomfortable around others.

Stop Any Attempts To Cause Bodily Harm

There is a scene where Maurizio pushes Patrizi against the wall. Such an action is unacceptable. If someone behaves violently toward you, you have the power and authority to defend yourself from your attacker.

Furthermore, believe it is over for the person when they say it is over. In the movie, Maurizio says, “A story has a beginning and an end, and ours ended a few chapters ago.” 

Sometimes, it hurts emotionally to realize a relationship is over, but moving on may reduce the pain. If it is difficult to move on, you should seek free and confidential on-campus counseling.

Seek to Be in a Space Where Your Feelings are Considered and Not Ignored

When you walk in a room unacknowledged by the people that mean the most to you, take this seriously. You should seek to be in a space where people know your name and are glad you came.

When your displays of sadness or discomfort are met with coldness and indifference, do not gloss over it as though it is nothing. There are people in this world who care when you are hurting, and those are the people with whom you need to be. When a person wants you out of their space, accept that being in their presence is not the best place for you. 

In the movie, when Maurizio sends Patrizia away, she expresses that she does not want to go, but Maurizio shows no reaction as he sends her away nonetheless.

Watch With Whom You Are Spending Time

When you are sad, be mindful of the people you associate yourself with. Patrizia spent time with an adviser who encouraged her to take actions that led unexpectedly to a negative outcome for herself, her daughter and other important people in her life. 

We can learn a valuable lesson from observing what Patrizia did not do. She did not develop new social connections to move her to a better place, which we should all practice regularly.

Let’s hear from you. Have you had similar experiences where you perhaps did not read the signals?

If you find yourself in a dating or relationship emergency, use these resources to seek help:

Howard Community College Counseling and Career Center (443-518-1340)

Hope Works of Howard County (410-997-0304)

National Domestic Violence Hotline Number (1-800-799-SAFE)