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Avanti!

Director:  Billy Wilder
Year Released:  1972
Rating:  2.5

Jack Lemmon travels to a resort in Italy to take his dead father back to America to be buried, only to find that his father had a 'secret life.' It has a lot of things going for it - Jack Lemmon, naturally, but also Clive Revill (a New Zealander playing an Italian!) - but is simply too long, and on top of that, a good portion of the running time is devoted to reinforcing virtually every stereotype in existence about Italians. The relationship between Lemmon and Juliet Mills isn't entirely believable but Wilder more or less makes it work. It is clearly not one of the director's most profound films (and there are several of those), but witty enough (I.A.L. Diamond was once again co-screenwriter) to make it enjoyable in parts.

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