10 November 2005 | fertilecelluloid
Powerful, tragic tale of naive youth
Applying a simplistic, hypocritical morality to this sleazy tale, the filmmaker (Fernando di Leo) gets to have it both ways. His camera captures every lurid detail of multiple sex scenes and takes every opportunity to savor the fine flesh of the tasty leads (Gloria Guida and Lilli Carati). He then condemns the women for being "sluts" and brutally reprimands them for their behavior.
"To Be Twenty" is a highly watchable story about two twenty-year-old free spirits whose youth and naivety bring on their destruction. Ninety per cent of the film graphically depicts the girls in a series of wild and frivolous adventures. Staples of 70's cinema such as drugs, politics, the generation gap, communal living and free sex are thrown into a mix to produce an enjoyable cinematic cocktail that captures the ennui of the period.
The film's surprising last stanza sounds a mean-spirited warning to women who freely advertise their sexuality without any intention of providing it. It is a nihilistic, barbaric, angry scene of human carnage that echoes the darkest aspects of "Last House on the Left", "Straw Dogs" and "I Spit On Your Grave".
A recurring song is used to potent effect over the end credits and the lead characters are brought to vivid life by the talented Guida and Carati.