Thursday, March 23, 2006


Phalanx-Jalem Productions
Director: Billy Wilder
Length: 142 min.
Country: USA/Italy
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 8 March, 2006

Billy Wilder's Avanti! is a film that is 100% dated - clearly a product of the "swingin'" '70s. The film's ultimate message is an unsurprising one for its era - having an affair is good for you, but only so long as it's meaningful and based on love. Yet another genius idea given to us by the Baby Boomers (thanks again, Boomers - because you slept with everybody, we now can't sleep with anybody). This ridiculous free-love message is here wrapped up in a mediocre and extremely predictable film. It's genuinely funny quite often, and the performances are generally good (Clive Revill being a standout as the string-pulling concierge), but the film needed a large part of its 142 minutes cut down and Lemmon's Ugly American abroad is so grating that we don't really care for him even when he inevitably softens. Avanti! isn't a bad film, like Wilder's Sunset Blvd., but it certainly won't be mistaken for one of his better works, either.


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