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Fernando Di Leo
Clara, the sexually frustrated wife of a businessman goes on vacation with her husband, daughter and best friend. While there, she finally learns that sex can be passionate and wonderful, something she was never able to discover with the help of her husband. Unfortunately, she learns this with a handsome life-guard, who finally makes her succumb to his psychosexual games. Written by
Fernando DiLeo made two "erotic dramas" in 1969, this film, "Burn Boy Burn" as well as "A Wrong Way to Love" with Susan Scott. A young Gianni Macchia is cast in both films, and he would also work for DiLeo ten years later in "Vacation for a Massacre (Madness)". Of the two 1969 films, "Burn Boy Burn" is the better film. Macchia is well-cast as an eighteen-year-old lifeguard who has many bikini-clad conquests, but he cannot resist an upper-middle class housewife (Francoise Prevost) who comes to the beach to stay with her husband, young daughter, and forty-something female companion, who also takes a shine to Macchia. While Macchia taunts his housewife-conquest about her "establishment" values, and while Prevost's young daughter has her love of Snoopy questioned by a ten-year-old boy/pseudo psychiatrist, not unlike Peanuts' Lucy character herself, Prevost discovers the pleasures of physical love for the first time with Macchia, which causes her to not renounce her bourgeois lifestyle but her very limited ideas about love and marriage. This is a bad situation that goes downhill, and anyone who has seen one of DiLeo's films knows that the ending will not be a happy one.
The script is well written and also very well thought-out; the tragic ending is all too real. This is one train wreck the viewer sees coming far in advance. The location photography, consisting mostly of shots of the nearly-deserted beach, enhances the film's sense of isolation of Prevost's character. Even a sunny beach seems somber here. The performance of every cast member is equally good, with Macchia being especially pointed and in-character. Prevost also delivers a heart-felt, sympathetic performance, and Bardinet makes up for his limited screen time with very good work here. I'm not sure what all the Snoopy talk between the children means, though it is probably a metaphor for the parents' marriage. This film is hard to find -- it is on an expensive DVD in Japan, and in English-dubbed form, but is well worth the purchase price.
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