Divorce - Italian Style

Director: Pietro Germi
Year Released: 1961
Rating: 3.0

"They say that wanting something is better than getting it," Marcello Mastroianni's wife tells him, and this quote applies to two of his wants: his desire to see her dead and his lust for a 16-year-old virginal flower girl. He can't manage the second want without the taking care of the Mrs., so he concocts a plan to send his wife into the arms of another man. Mastroianni puts in what's by far one of the funniest performances of his career - he was also fabulous in La Grande Bouffe - and manages to be both slimy and pathetic at once (he also has this hilarious facial tick that's better seen than described); his wife pulls off a similar maneuver and appears both irksome and loving. The ending smacks of Lolita - what do teenage girls want, anyway? - and if it weren't made by Italians it could be accused as being slanderous (oh, we horrible whoremongers!) but it is a comedy, and since it does such a fine job as a comedy, celebration is in order.