How to Lose a Wife and Find a Lover (1978)

  |  Comedy


How to Lose a Wife and Find a Lover (1978) Poster

Castelli is an advertising executive who, having returned home early due to a car accident with Eleonora Rubens, a young Dutch woman abandoned by her husband, surprises his American wife in intimacy with the plumber.

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16 July 2014 | lazarillo
Very decent Italian sex comedy
One of the most horribly annoying clichés in Hollywood romantic comedies is the "meet cute", where characters who are going to fall in love later, "meet" under the most contrived circumstances imaginable. I'm not sure when this cliché originated (or when it was dubbed with the stupid, nonsensical term "meet cute"), but I think it largely happened after the era of this Italian movie. What's interesting though is this movie is pretty much an entire series of often funny and increasingly ridiculous "meet cute" encounters between an optometrist (Johnny Dorelli)and a devoted wife (Barbara Bouchet), who have both been betrayed by their respective spouses. They first have a car accident where their cars end up "stuck" to each other, then later wind up in the hospital together after bizarre accidents , then go to the same ski resort in the Alps, and then in the most hilariously ridiculous scene are both thought dead and are given last rights by a senile priest who accidentally marries them instead!

You'd think as someone with a healthy dislike of "meet cutes" and "rom-coms" in general, I wouldn't like this at all, but I actually did. It's NOT a romantic comedy, which tries to turn an absurd meeting into a believable story of romance, it's just a ridiculous and fun screwball sex comedy where the characters are not even going to get together until the very end, and for most of the movie they're just ships passing in the night--who keep hilariously crashing into each other. There's also A LOT of nudity, which is something that would make Hollywood rom-coms marginally less insufferable, but which they never seem to contain. It pretty much involves all the female cast (and a lot of the male cast), but the most memorable is Barbara Bouchet herself (take that Katherin Heigl!) and Stefania Cassini, a cult actress more typical known for horror movies and Andy Warol films, who plays the Bouchet character's sexy best friend.

Pasquale Festa Campanile is one the best Italian sex comedy directors, who has also found a lot of success outside the genre in gialli thrillers ("Hitchhike") and serious dramas ("The Girl from Trieste"). Johnny Dorelli is a decent comedy actor, not as good as some (Land0 Buzzanca, Renzo Motagnini), but less annoying than others (Alvaro Vitali). Interestingly, he later married to Gloria Guida, who many considered a younger version of Barbara Bouchet (except she was Italian with bleach-blonde hair and had a little more voluptuous baby fat on her). Maybe he's a little homely to really be the most believable romantic lead, but he's better than Adam Sandler (who would make a remarkably similar film years later with "50 First Dates"). Recommended,

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Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy

Details

Release Date:

28 November 1978

Language

Italian


Country of Origin

Italy

Filming Locations

Rome, Lazio, Italy

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