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Director and writer Sergio Corbucci's passport to fame was the Italo-Western genre, but in the Seventies, the comedies were en vogue in Italy, and Corbucci churned out one by one. The 1980 production Mi faccio la barca" quickly slipped into obscurity, however:
The Roman dentist Piero (Johnny Dorelli) wants to spend his holidays cruising on a small sailing boat, together with his two little children. His ex-wife Roberta (Laura Antonelli) is planning quite a similar thing with her high-society friends on a luxury yacht, though. But when Piero's first forays to the sea end in disaster, Roberta is worried about the children and decides to embark on his boat. The reunited family sets sail lots of adventures and strange encounters await them. Will they reach Sardinia? And more importantly, will Piero and Roberta get back together?
As you can guess by the description, this is a family comedy, a family adventure. There is not much depth in terms of characters, the plot is neither very refined nor does it have any surprises in store (except for one, see below). It's supposed to be easy fun, not much more. For the most part, it actually works, since the two stars harmonize quite well, the screenplay capitalizes on the unique setting, and the pacing is high enough to avoid any idleness. And I loved the locations, the Italian seaside, the Tyrrhenian Sea and of course the wonderful music. Itchy feet. Did I mention that this movie has gorgeous Laura running around in swimsuits throughout?
Unfortunately, a couple of the events are just too far-fetched. What are the chances that Piero will run into his (topless) assistant chick on Sardinia? And then, just when you might think the movie is about to end, the screenplay adds another plot with two goons who kidnap the boat and the family. The whole ending is over the top and for me, it just doesn't fit with the harmless comedy of the preceding 90 minutes. Last but not least, the kids are annoying. Luckily they don't have too many dialogs, but when they do, it is either wisecracking about sailing, or commenting on bad language by the adults and other tedious, opinionated stuff like that.
Overall, regardless of the clear shortcomings, an easy, tame, fun movie for friends of Italian comedies. I'd instantly prefer this to all the action comedy flicks Corbucci did at the time. And any Laura Antonelli fan shouldn't miss this for the world.
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