Ep 17: Avanti!

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Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: # Pops ~ Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 3, Comedy: 4, Romance: 5

Jenny says: # Pops ~ Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 4, Romance: 5

Movie Info:

Release Date: December 17, 1972 Director: Billy Wilder Writers: I.A.L. Diamond, Billy Wilder. More info at IMDb.

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11 responses to “Ep 17: Avanti!”

  1. Well, everything that Lucy says should bother her about this movie, the adultery, the slow pacing, Wendell being such a jerk, the insistence that she’s fat, etc., but she gives it a pass for some unknown reason, I don’t. They bother me. I was so proud of Wendell being faithful to his wife throughout the movie until the end. It was such a disappointment. You both believe it offers the HEA and the heartwarming fuzzies, but I didn’t get them as I find the romance tragic.

    All the background “noise” that you’d get rid of, the Trottas etc., I wish more of that would have been focused on over the romance. I like the comedy background way more than the romance. The valet who was blackmailing wasn’t funny that part was more mean.

    I loved Carlucci. He was best. Pamela was very sweet.

    After listening to the podcast, I see that I have a nearly completely opposite opinion from the two of you. The pacing was slow, so I’d only give the structure a 3. The comedy should have been bumped up and the romance should have never happened. So, a 3 for comedy and a 2 for romance because I can’t get past the adultery, maybe even a 1.

  2. They bother me too, Kelly. I liked that he didn’t cheat. Hah, so much for that.

    And whether or not you are into adultery romance or not (in my case, not so much), they don’t even get to it until 2 hours into a 2:24 minute movie. I never approve of that sort of thing.

    The rest of the movie is cute, but… not my favorite romance ever for the lateness and the cheating. I like a HEA and adultery romance once a year is guaranteed to not have that.

  3. This one really didn’t work for me.

    The pacing for the whole movie kind of killed me. I started skipping ahead after an hour and a half in.

    I thought the Kiss was great except he’d just got off the phone with his wife–which kind of killed any warm and fuzzies there for me. I guess I’m like Jennifer and Kelly, the whole adultery thing really didn’t work for me here, and the romance didn’t really get going until like an hour and a half into the movie anyway.

    I also, personally, didn’t think this was very funny. I don’t think I laughed out loud once.

    And, oh my God, she’s not fat at all. 133lbs! Jesus. If that’s “fat,” then I’m morbidly obese!

  4. I liked this movie. Up until the end.

    The setting was beautiful, dreamy and romantic. Wendell and Pamela were believable and engaging. They grew. They had chemistry. They charmed the socks off of me. The supporting characters were fun and enhanced the story. Totally loved Carlucci. The humor was expertly placed to relieve the stress of other less palatable parts of the story. I cracked up any number of times. I can see why you like this movie. I’d watch it again.

    The romance? Here’s where we part ways and I join Kelly, Jennifer and the others. (I’m thinkin’ you were distracted by your chocolate mousse. I totally understand. )

    My first problem was that the romance came too late and didn’t last long enough. Then there was the whole adultery thing. The telephone calls led me to believe that he and his wife didn’t love each other much. And yet – he stayed married with no apparent plans to remedy the situation. I was really hoping that Wendell was going to be better than his father in that regard. The fact that the movie ended without that being addressed was a real buzz kill for me. Finally, may I just say that 30 days out of 365 does not romance make. I wouldn’t want to have to settle for that and I don’t want to see my heroines settle for that either. Eleven months alone for one month together? It’s just too sad. Another major buzz kill for me.

    I agree with you on the structure and the humor. I’d give the romance a 2. Maybe a 3, tops. It was starting to bloom beautifully when they finally got around to tending to it, but they nipped the bud right off by ending it the way they did.

  5. I adored this film, and I’m also unable to articulate exactly why. I’m not generally comfortable with adultery stories, and I agree that Wendell spends most of the film as a jerk.

    For me, the movie works because of two things. The first is the deliberate pace; the film’s lazily-unfolding sense of enchantment mirrors Wendell’s awakening, and emphasises the magical, other-worldly vision of Italy and its people.

    The second thing — and this is what, for me, makes the romance storyline work — is that the love between Wendell and Pamela is selfless. Both are improved by it, but neither cling to it, or demand more than is freely, naturally given. For one month a year, they will be together, but in the time that they are apart, they will be better, happier people, and their lives will be illuminated by the magic they share.

    A sweet movie, a great show, and fascinating comments. 🙂

  6. It wasn’t the chocolate mousse. I’ve seen this movie a million times. It might, however, be my reluctance to commit to anybody. A month of passion in paradise once a year, and then the rest of the year free to do my thing sounds like heaven to me. Adultery, not so much.

  7. I’m amused that the Avanti poll seems to be split between the 4 pops and the 2s. Apparently this is a movie that you either love or hate. It works or it doesn’t for you.