8 March 2011 | lazarillo
Well-acted but rather melodramatic early 80's Italian film
An overweight teenage girl (Lara Wendel) walks in on her slutty mother (Stephania Sandrelli) having a three-way (right after the daughter's birthday party). She later confronts her mother and gets her birthday cake shoved in her face. She then tries to commit suicide, but survives and loses a lot of weight. Now attractive to boys and men for the first time, she turns into a world-class tease, manipulating a smitten boy her age (so she can rob his parent's house), her mother's middle-age jerk of boyfriend, an older would-be revolutionary, and his sinister contact. It all ends in tears and some rather unbelievable melodrama.
The main strength of this movie is the two female leads. The strikingly beautiful Sandrelli started in Italian films when she herself was teenager, appearing in two classics, "Divorce, Italian Style" and "Seduced and Abandoned". As she approached middle-age Sandrelli took on another career of "sexy mama" roles most notably in Tinto Brass' "The Key", but also "Jamon, Jamon" (where she played Penelope Cruz's mother) and Lina Wertmueller's "The Nymph". Lara Wendel is kind of the Italian version of Linda Blair having played the Linda Blair role in "Ring of Darkness", perhaps the most ridiculous of many ridiculous Italian "Exorcist"/"The Omen" knock-offs. She went on to do horror films for Dario Argento ("Tenebrae"), Joe D'Amato ("Killing Birds"), and Umberto Lenzi ("Ghosthouse"), and she'd started her career playing the young Mimsy Farmer in the creepy horror/giallo "Perfume of the Lady in Black". But as the result of her notorious second film, Wendel also became a rather unlikely sex star (although she seems to use a body double for some her more graphic scenes here). She is actually really good in this and even better in her subsequent film "Ernesto" (where she plays male and female twins). She was really somewhat of a wasted talent in the blood-soaked, sex-crazed Italian cinema of the time.
I know little about the director, but his movie kind of reminds of a Catherine Breillat film, but with French feminism replace by a more leering, Italian male sensibility. Not a great movie,but not terrible either.