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This is one of the first films of Gloria Guida. I can't say I really
followed the plot because the version I saw was dubbed into German with
no subtitles in English (or Italian or Spanish or French). What I got
out of it though was the Guida is playing her usual high school girl in
trouble, but this isn't one of the typical low-brow, idiotic "Liceale"
sex comedies she'd later be famous for--this is more of low-grade drama
similar to "Blue Jeans", the other film she later did with the same
director (Mario Imperioli). "Monika", Guida's characters in this film,
is dealing with three male suitors: One is a creepy peer (played by the
same scrawny actor from "Blue Jeans") who is pimping out her female
classmates to older men. The second is a middle-age lech, and a client
of the teenage pimp, who becomes obsessed with her. The third is a
swarthy, slightly older lothario who is also carrying on with the
middle-aged guy's frosty wife. "Monika" also has some kind of
relationship with the wife (Colette Descombes from the Carrol
Baker/Umberto Lenzo giallo "Orgasmo"), at least enough to merit them
taking a topless swim together.
I couldn't spoil the plot if I wanted to, but suffice it to say that Guida gets naked a lot, loses her virginity to one of the guys, and someone dies at the end. Perhaps the most memorable scene takes place at (her birthday?)party where "Monika" is wildly dancing in a mini-skirt surrounded by a group of guys. The lights suddenly go out, her panties somehow end up on the dance floor (where they're surreptitiously scooped by the middle-aged lech), and the audience is treated to a LONG low-angle shot of her "pants off/dance off". Like the whole movie though the tone of this is a strange mixture of comedy and drama--"Monika" seems a little traumatized by this development, but certainly not traumatized enough to stop dancing.
Anyway, if you've never seen Gloria Guida in action, she was one of the most ubiquitous of an incredible crop of Italian actresses who came of age in the 1970's Golden Era of Italian exploitation film (including Ornella Muti, Jenny Tamburi, Eleanora Giorgi, Lili Karati and dozens of others who would never get kicked out of bed for eating soda crackers). She kind of resembled a young Brigitte Bardot or Barbara Bouchet. And I don't think she ever met a film role she wasn't willing to take all her clothes off for. This is not a very good movie (and it might not be much better, and could even be worse, with subtitles), but god knows I've suffered through much worse movies for the sake of taking another gander at the gorgeous GG.
"La Ragazzina" (recently released on DVD in the USA as "Monika") begins
with a pretty teenage girl, Monica (Gloria Guida), running on the
beach. The musical score of Nico Fidenco lovingly follows her Gloria
Guida is not only beautiful but she manages to convey sensuality, joy
and innocence. It's no wonder that she was (together with Ornella
Muti), one of the most popular teenage starlets of the 70s Italy.
Monica (Gloria Guida) lives with her parents, their relationship is good but Monica is left much to herself. In spite of apparently having a good social life, deep down herself Monica feels alone. One of her few friends is the wife (Colette Descombes) of her father's business partner.
Monica is looking for herself, she needs love (and this includes of course sex) - she's happy and perplexed.
"La Ragazzina" is more a vehicle for Gloria Guida. The camera is in love with her, any occasion is good to show her body, and as for Colette Descombes, she's also easy on the eyes and there are some nice shots of her.
Several men are circling around Monica and she's trying to find out her way, but she's a bit confused what does she really want?
"La Ragazzina" is a sexy comedy with a little bit of drama, but above all it's a summer movie - it may not be very deep, but it's a pleasant film and there's Gloria Guida.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This review is for Kesse Teens which is the German DVD release of La
Ragazzina, Gloria Guida's first foray into the film industry and it is
quite obvious why she was snapped up. Although she was nineteen when
she made this film, she is supposed to be younger, while the rest of
the so-called teens look to be well into their twenties. The rest of
the male cast are middle-aged and older but who lust after the glorious
The film could be described as a coming-of-age or rites-of-passage drama. It is a story of love and betrayal. Monica (Gloria Guida) is an innocent schoolgirl but unbeknown to her, her boyfriend Leo is the local pimp. Although Leo wants Monica, she actually wants her art teacher Bruno. Bruno is having an affair with Sandra, while her husband Massimo is a client of Leo's and then pays Leo to set him up with Monica.
This film is really about Ms Guida getting her clothes off which happens at various points in the film. To say how, when and why would spoil the plot. Ms Guida also looks good in mini-skirts, she certainly has the legs for them. There is one glaring fault in the film and that is the music while she is posing in front of a mirror. The solo guitar was just right but using a penny whistle as an accompaniment was a crass idea. Filming on location evokes nostalgia for a lost world. The Adriatic town of Lignano Sabbiadoro is remarkably traffic-free; and how many Italians still drive beach buggies? Those were the days.
Anyone considering buying the Kesse Teens DVD should be aware of some technical details. It is German language only although following the plot is not too difficult. The cover says that the picture is 4:3 but it is close to 1.68:1. This could be an advantage for widescreen TV owners. The worst discrepancy is the run time. The cover says 88 minutes but it runs for only 79 minutes. This is another victim of the German censors and why some of the nude scenes do seem to cut off abruptly. With German DVDs, what it says on the box is not always what you get. 4 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It seems I saw the same film as Lazarillo, that's to say in German without subtitles, but contrary to him I would not have had a look at it had I not a sufficient knowledge of the language to have more than the pictures. The film is titled in modern German "Kesse Teens". Having put out a spoiler alert I feel entitled to add that the "slightly older Lothario" happens to be a professor of Monika's. I don't have the impression there is anything between the "frosty wife" and her, and Monika is the only one topless when they swim together, although we can see Sandra (the wife) swimming in the buff earlier in the film. Anyway Lazarillo may be right, it is not sure the film is better when you can follow the plot.
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