28 March 2010 | lazarillo
Pretty dated, but not bad
A young girl (Agostina Belli)marries a handsome and successful but brutish local butcher(Gianni Macchia) at the behest of her contessa stepmother. The new wife turns out to be frigid on their wedding night, and the couple have a big fight. The wife goes out of town to stay with her older, married sister (Ewa Aulin) and gets involved with her sister's jaded swinger friends. The husband consoles himself by picking up prostitutes and carrying on with a sexy, voluptuous neighbor (Femi Benussi) right in his new mother-in-law's villa. For some reason the mother-in-law considers this a turn-on and becomes sexually drawn to her loutish son-in-law. . .
This is the kind of a movie that is very much of a certain time (the morally confused early 70's)and a certain place (Italy--where they REALLY seem to like to keep things in the family). The characters are kind of hard to relate to because they are either repressed virgins or jaded "la dolce vita"-type swingers with nothing in between. None of them is particularly likable and NO ONE ends up particularly happy at the end of this, so this is not really a lot of fun to watch. It does have a great score from Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicoli (that at times really overwhelms this low-watt movie). Then there's the visuals. . .
Agostina Belli was one of the most beautiful Italian actresses of all time. She was kind of like Ornella Muti in that she was SO beautiful, it ended up being a kind of handicap to her acting. But unlike Muti she was not a really strong actress and ended up mostly in very memorable supporting roles (like "Profuma di Donna"). Ewa Aulin was another international beauty whose entire career was really overshadowed by her first, most internationally famous role "Candy". This movie is her best ACTING performance by far though in that she plays completely against her usual type (the sexy, dim-witted naif) and is instead an unhappy, jaded swinger. (Her role here kind of reminded me of the one Tuesday Weld, another 60's sex kitten, did in "Looking for Mr.Goodbar"). Femi Benussi, on the other hand, doesn't go against type AT ALL. But she is always good as the voluptuous sexpot, and the scene where she wears the Belli character's bridal veil (and nothing else) while she fools around with the husband is very memorable. Alfredo de Sisti ("Private Lessons", "Fiorina la Vaca") is always a serviceable director and he does a serviceable job here. This movie is definitely pretty dated, but it's not bad