24 December 2006 | Chip_douglas
American setting, American hairdo's.
During the mid eighties a new generation of Italian comedy stars took over at the cinema and brought their own, more Americanized brand of humor with them. Out were the dirty little old men, "Carry On" caricatures if you will, in were was a younger crown with wilder hair, resembling the SNL alum's dominating the Amercian box office at the time. There was less naughtiness, which is ironic as in America the comedies at the time started getting ruder and nuder. 'Vacanze In America' is clearly the most American minded of them all, being set (and unlike most of these comedies, actually filmed) all over the land of dreams and featuring many American recording artists on the popular sound track. This entry in the Vacanze series (which is still going to this day) can truly be called a torch-passer, as it features her royal majesty the Queen of Italian comedy during the seventies and early eighties, Edwige Fenech, in her last comedic movie appearance.
A class from a strict Catholic boy's school is taking a 15 day holiday to the United States. And not just any holiday, they travel all the way from the East coast to the West. Backed by the church, the clergymen seem to have money to burn for this trip, as it also allows former students to go along such as Pio (Jerry Calà, playing the Bill Murray part), as well as one of the boy's mother (Fenech). Ironically, the lad playing her son is actually her former co star Ugo Tognazzi's offspring Gianmarco. Two priests, a young excitable type (Christian De Sica, sporting an Egon Spengler haircut) and an old deaf one (Renato Moretti) lead the group in typically incompetent fashion.
As usual, many characters have their own little sub plot, the enjoyment of which depends on how much you like the actors in question. For instance, there is a predictable love story between future Marlboro man Alessio (Claudio Amendola) bumping into pretty Italian model Antonella (Antonella Interlenghi) every where he goes. Meanwhile, Theo, aka Pio (Calà) is trying to get himself and his two palls laid, but only ends up being tricked by a couple of married women and meeting a bunch of homo's. Some of the less important students get to do nothing more than play practical jokes on the old priest, while the young one, Don Buro (Egon), keeps trying to get Signora De Romanis (Edwige)'s attention. Unfortunately for us Fenech fans, when she decided to quit taking her top off, she immediately got bumped down to supporting parent status. Here she spends the entire picture worrying about her boring son Filippo, who unknown to her, still manages to get lucky with a surfer girl despite his utter dullness.
The group travels from the Big Apple to Graceland, meet a rival class of Italian school boys passing through Utah for a game of football and end up in LA. Pio and Co take a side trip to Vegas on their own to score themselves some gambling money and another disappointment involving a call girl called Marilyn. When the guys take a cab back from Vegas to Venice Beach, the whole company has to chip in in order to pay the fair. Finally they all go home to good old Italy where all the little plot points are resolved, some less predictable than others.
6 out of 10