30 June 2010 | damien-16
Crude, vulgar... a typical Italian comedy of the early seventies
There was a time when Italian comedies by the likes of Risi, Lattuada, Monicelli etc. were quite popular. I don't know if they would stand a second viewing 35 years later. Most were highly unsubtle, extremely sexist and of course, crude and vulgar. Virilita is typical of its kind. Turi Ferro, the father in Malizia, is a widower in a small village on an island, who has remarried young and pretty Agostina Belli. For this hypermacho, sex-obsessed conservative, the summum of mirth is to be able to call someone a cornuto, a man who has been cheated by his woman. When his son returns from university, with his girlfriend, the father thinks his son has become gay, because he wrongly assumes that the girlfriend, who is flat chested, has very short hair and wears pants, is a boy. To make this insult to his virility go away, and to avoid becoming the laughing stock of the village, the father drives his young wife and his son into each other's arms, and when they finally give in and make love on the beach, he makes sure the whole village is watching, because it's better being a cornuto than the father of a gay son. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? It actually is. Still, I do remember this film, 35 years after I saw it, once. So, somehow this kind of stupidity must have struck a nerve somewhere. Must have been Ms Belli's smile...