|Index||5 reviews in total|
The Italians have always been very fond of episodic sex comedies, usually
around some central theme. This is no exception: all episodes are
contemporary and the subject is marital infidelity. As the film was made in
1976 it has more nudity than similar films from the 1960s (Le Bambole, for
example), but it is not quite as exploitative as many other Italian sex
comedies from this era.
Italian film comedians are an acquired taste (I'm being very polite here), especially the "You all love me!" attitude they share with circus clowns is somewhat off-putting. However, the comedy in this film works often surprisingly well, largely thanks to Aldo Maccione and Johnny Dorelli who are just this little bit subtler than their colleagues.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sergio Martino's follow-up to "Sex With A Smile" reduces the number of separate sketches to four from five but does not significantly reduce the running time: the result is that each individual sketch is now longer and more tedious. The best one (comparatively speaking) is the last, which is shot in beautiful Venice and stars Ursula Andress, who is both the oldest and by far the sexiest female lead of this movie: she exposes her incredible legs and her perfect breasts. As for the worst, it's probably the third one, which is based on a decent central idea, but is far too stretched-out in about 30 minutes. The second one is pretty stupid, but it does have a funny ending; the first one is the shortest, and thus one of the most tolerable. On the whole, I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone else except collectors of Ursula's film appearances. ** out of 4.
Once again, I've been fooled. I anticipated watching the first "Sex with a Smile" movie, but apparently the ex-rental tape was a copy of the sequel in the VHS box of the original. This shouldn't necessarily be bad news, because the sequel is even more obscure and harder to find than the first film, but unfortunately it does not star the indescribably beautiful Edwige Fenech or the legendary comedy star Marty Feldman, and they were my main motivations to see it. However, the sequel stars no less than Ursula Andress to compensate slightly for the loss of Fenech' feminine beauty and Barbara Bouchet is present again as well. "Sex with a Smile 2" is typically Italian and even more typically 70's; a very light-headed and insignificant comedy omnibus with a four short tales, all revolving on adultery and voyeurism. The short chapters definitely aren't brilliant, or even highly memorable, but they're quite entertaining while they last and the playful narrative style is guaranteed to bring a couple of smiles on your face. The first story introduces an ambitious private detective (always referring to himself as "Dick") and his cross-eyed assistant. Their assignment is to prove that some guy's wife cheats on him, but she's as faithful as a German Shepard dog. The second story was quite original and joyful. A male macho infiltrates, dressed up like a Polish sex doll, in an all-female soccer team because their usual star hurt her knee two days before the most important match they ever played. All goes well on the field, but slight complications arise in the shower as well as outside the soccer field, where it's very difficult to keep up appearances. The third story is an interesting variation on the Trojan Horse legend, with a burglar perpetrating the villa of a rich couple in a wardrobe. But then the sleazy husband unexpectedly comes home with his luscious French mistress. The last and arguably finest segment stars the lovely Ursula Andress as a lawyer's wife waiting for her lover to join her for an afternoon in "sexual paradise", but the latter doesn't succeed in reaching her apartment because he's mistaken for a deceased neighbor's long lost son. "Sex with a Smile" is a pretty amusing little flick, albeit very forgettable. None of the gags are truly hilarious or cause your stomach to hurt from laughing, but the comical situations are presented at high pace. All the stories are exaggeratedly talkative (the Dutch subtitles couldn't even keep up at times), and many dialogs and one-liners are spot-on witty. Naturally, given the title and all, there's a lot of full frontal nudity and soft-core sleaze on display, but all in good taste. The extremely merry music is terrific, possibly the best element about it. This film, as well as its predecessor, must have formed an interesting chance for director Sergio Martino, who's primarily known for his blood and gore drenched Gialli ("Torso", "All the Colors of the Dark") and violent crime thrillers ("The Violent Professionals"). Recommended, but only if you cherish a passion for obscure and smutty Italian cult cinema.
This portmanteau Italian sex comedy, released under the English title
"Sex with a Smile 2" may or may not have been intended as a sequel to
the similar but more famous "Sex with Smile", but in any event it is
certainly a worthy follow-up. It consists four genuinely funny stories.
In the first an "upmost private dick" tries to convince a client that
his seemingly loyal and religious wife is in fact cheating on him, but
perhaps the detective should pay more attention himself to his own
sexy, hot-to-trot missus (Maria Baxa). The second story involves a guy
who dresses as a girl to play as a "ringer" for a girls' soccer team.
It all goes horribly awry though, first, in the shower room, then
during a penalty kick. The third story involves an inept gang of
thieves trying to sneak into a villa by hiding in a big antique "trojan
wardrobe". But their plans get entangled with the plans of the owner of
the villa who is trying to escape his domineering wife(Barbara
Bouchet)and rendezvous with his French mistress (Nadia Cassini). The
last story has a married woman (Ursula Andress) trying to rendezvous
with HER lover, but her plans get mixed up with a funeral wake that is
going on on the floor below her apartment.
This movie like the original "Sex with a Smile" was directed by Sergio Martino, who along with Pasquale Campanile Festa, was undoubtedly the best at this type of Italian sex comedy (and he was successful in several other genres as well). The movie is missing the comedy chops and gorgeous oft-nude body of Martino's usual collaborator, Edwige Fenech. Ursula Andress (despite being about forty here) actually fills in pretty well as the gorgeous nude body, but she doesn't have Fenech's gift for comedy. The sexiest performances though are by Barbara Bouchet and Nadia Cassini appearing together as a wife and mistress. Although Bouchet has only brief (at least for her) nude scenes and Cassini only occasionally flashes her most famous ASSet, these two are still far sexier than all the anonymous full-frontal bimbos that decorate this movie put together. Special mention should also go, however, to the uncredited Maria Baxa who also played Lili Karati's stepmother in "Candido Erotica" and was equally sexy in the otherwise awful "Very Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind".
The male actors are pretty decent. They're all Italian this time, but many of them will probably look familiar to anyone who has seen a lot of these Italian sex comedies. There is no one on the level of Marty Feldman or any big non-comedy names like Tomas Milian (both of whom were in the first "Sex with a Smile"). Still, if you like these kind of films in general, you'll definitely want to see this.
I wouldn't hesitate to name Sergio Martino as one of my all time
favourite directors. His Giallo is second only to the great Dario
Argento, and he's made a few other nice films in other genres too. Sex
comedies were popular in the seventies Italy, and like most Italian
directors; Martino was happy to turn his hand to the current popular
genre. Prior to seeing this film, I had seen two Martino sex comedies,
both starring Edwige Fenech and both very good; the films being
Giovannona Long-Thigh and the first Sex with a Smile. I wasn't too
hopeful for this sequel given how Italian sequels usually go; and while
it's weaker than the other two sex comedies that I've seen from
Martino; it still offers a decent ninety minutes of entertainment. The
stories in this film don't follow on at all from those in the first,
and the best one here isn't as good as the worst one in the first film;
but as I say, it's enjoyable enough light-hearted stuff, and it would
be foolish to go into a seventies Italian sex comedy with any higher
expectations than that.
The stories are something of a mixed bag. The first one is a silly and fairly amusing yarn revolving round private detectives trying to prove to a husband that his faithful wife is unfaithful. It's a decent opener. The middle two tales are better; the first of which is an Italian variant on Some Like it Hot. It revolves around a man who decides to dress up as a woman so he can replace the star player on the ladies football team. Naturally, most of the tale revolves around the shower and our hero also attracts some unwanted attention from members of both sexes. The third tale is probably the best and stars the beautiful Barbara Bouchet. It revolves around an unfaithful husband trying to hide his mistress from his wife, and losing out to a would-be thief. The final story is somewhat boring, and has something to do with a woman trying to cheat on her husband right under his nose, and not being very successful at it. The film is fairly raunchy throughout, but not really very sleazy. There's a bit of nudity here and there, but nothing to write home about. The jokes are decent and the odd comical situation is funny, but this is more an amusing timewaster than a brilliant comedy.
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