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The Johnny Dorelli Show

Author: Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
20 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dino Risi directs a series of 10 sketches that all star Johnny Dorelli. Gloria Guida co-stars in 6 of these, Laura Antonelli in 3. The skits vary in length, though the shorter are for some reason all crammed into the first half. Most, but not all of them are about sex, yet the subject is treated with surprising dignity (i.e. Gloria and Laura are mighty sexy but don't show as much as usual). Unfortunately. writers Riso, Vanzina and Zapponi start repeating themselves before the end, with fart and gay jokes popping up several times.

The first sketch, 'Domenica-In' is also the shortest, as it concerns a couple (Dorelli and Guida) watching a hypnotist on TV, who get stuck in the same position owing to a brief electrical fault that causes their sets to fall out at a crucial moment. In 'La Nuova Marisa', Laura Antonelli moves into a flat formerly owned by a call girl and is promptly mistaken for the previous inhabitant. 'Radio-Taxi' is another brief one in which a husband (Dorelli of course) can't take his wife (Guida) 's monotone speech pattern any more. Next up is 'Rasioio All'Antica', in which Johnny gets a dangerous shave from an upset barber and his manicurist (Gloria).

Having crammed 4 short subjects into less than half an hour, editor Alberto Gallitti slows down a bit for 'Il Macho', in which Johnny D. finds himself being stalked by butch man with a mustache. Here JD's wife is played by Liliana Eritrei. Neither Gloria nor Laura appears, and they are absent again in 'Lady Jane', in which the title part goes to Margaret Lee. Dorelli (this time with beard) goes out on a diner date with the gorgeous Lady Jane, only to find she suffers from a flatulence problem. Gloria returns first as Armanda in 'Armanda E Il Violinista'. Guess which part Johnny plays? That's right, an old acquaintance of hers who is so down on his luck he has to play his violin in restaurants for table scraps.

We're just shy of the one hour mark when Laura returns and promptly bumps into Johnny outside a supermarket in 'L'aventura'. The pair take an instant liking to each other and flirt with each other all the way home and beyond. Note that Antonelli gets to show off her hairy armpits in this one. In 'Luna Di Miele' Johnny and Gloria are once again a couple. This time he's a wealthy architect who becomes obsessed with a wealthy sheik staying at the same hotel. Finally, in 'La Principessa e Il Cameriere' Laura plays a spoiled princess and Johnny her drooling servant. You can see why they saved this one for last, as it features crazy more slapstick humor than any of the previous shorts combined.

The end credits feature a selection of stills from what has come before and strangely enough, the very first seems to be from a deleted sketch in which Dorelli is wearing a French beret and glasses. In any event, that part didn't appear in the version commented on here. The entire film is obviously a showcase for Johnny Dorelli, who despite a lot of different amounts of facial hair and a couple of accents never really seems to vary all that much from character to character. Gloria Guida actually does a better job of disguising herself throughout the film and while Laura Antonelli remains herself in every part she plays. Add to this the fact that Italian sex comedies were quickly becoming less sexy and more mainstream at the start of the Eighties, and you are left with rather a tame comedy that could have been much wilder, sexier and funnier had it been made 5 years earlier.

7 out of 10

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