Three American women, rooming together while working abroad in Rome, Italy, hope for romance and marriage. Frances, oldest of the three, has been fifteen years a secretary to novelist John Frederick Shadwell, a man whom she loves but whose reclusive nature prompts most people to believe him long since dead. Anita, one week away from returning to America (under the claim of getting married), finally bucks company rules (and gets caught) by finally accepting an invitation from an Italian co-worker to visit his family's farm for his sister's wedding. Newly arrived Maria soon sets her generally innocent eyes on Dino di Cessi, an actual prince with a reputation for womanizing, and makes a play for him by making herself his perfect match.Written by
Whilst ignoring the glossy subject matter of the film, this is a great satire on how America views Europe, and how that view is perceived by Europeans: the American characters are parochial and surprised whenever another fellow countryman displays any culture, whilst the European characters are all stereotypically over-sexed, over-stylised and painfully cultured. This film is about as European as "Happy Days" relates to the reality of life in America. Everyone lives in huge flats/houses, and the outside scenes look like they were filmed at 6 in the morning... if you've ever been to any European city, then you'll know that it's a lot busier and bustling than depicted here in the superbly photographed location shots. As usual, Europe is seen as living in the past, with all that funny sounding food and affected cultural idiosyncrasies, the buildings are all pre-historic, crumbling and steeped in shadow, the general public are depicted as being wolfish and spending most of their time pinching girls or riding around on scooters. It appears to be a "nouvelle vague" film, made for non-European audiences, as a joke at the expense of that audience. Look under the initial fluff, and there is quite a witty and biting satire on cultural mores.
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