3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Leisurely Romantic Comedy, July 12 2004
This one was not thoughfully picked , but caught my eye in one of those channel surfing routines.. where just after few seconds , didn't think of any other channels or anything else..
The English translation of Italian word 'Avanti!' is 'Go Ahead' and is usually used in response to 'Permesso?' asked by any of the hotel staff while knocking at the door of your room.
Released in 1972, this is Billy Wilder's yet another light comic offering where an American businessman Wendell Armbruster(Jack Lemmon) comes to Italy to pick his father's dead body. Once there he comes to know about the long kept secret of his father of having a relationship with some woman. This woman's daughter Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills) a delightful Brit also comes to Italy to pick her mother's dead body. Wendell, a hyperactive & uptight fellow and Pamela, a loving & carefree person happen to share the same hotel and share the same reason for their Italy visit. After not-so many instances, both of them find themselves in their parent's shoes. As if their assets of love have been passed on to their offspring. At the end, the bodies of the dead are not taken back to their respective country, but buried where their love once bloomed!
Amidst all the tough & good times there is one character that is distinctly noticeable is of Carlo Carlucci(Clive Revill) an efficient,clever and very helpful hotel manager. He is shown to be know-it-all and handle-it-all kinda guy.
One gets a sneak peek at the Italian culture of long lunch hours, mafia ruling,a general laid back attitude of people,etc..Although the movie could have done without the nude scenes and the vineyard brothers & their unreasonable demands from Wendell.
The true meaning of 'Avanti' is revealed when Piggot says it in response to Wendell's asking 'Permesso?' to kiss her. This truly is a magical moment!! The lilting music, the wit of the characters played and the locales add to the magic of this enchanting experience.
I'm glad that a film picked by chance turned out to be such a pleasure and it belongs to my favourite genre of movies!