Sunday, 8 March 2009

Cornetti alla crema / Cream Horn / Custard Croissants

What? Another Sergio Martino / Edwige Fenech sex comedy.

Well, when they’re as entertaining as Cornetti alla crema / Cream Horn, it would be churlish to complain.

Fenech plays Marianna, an aspiring singer with an estranged, over-possessive pro-football playing boyfriend; oddly the football in question is of the American variety.

She’s rescued from his unwanted attentions by Domenico Petruzzelli (Lino Banfi), a buffoonish businessman who makes vestments for the Vatican and has a shrewish wife (Milena Vukotic) and lazy, fat, idiot son back home in Rome.

Unable to tell Marianna the truth about his own domestic situation, Domenico gives her his best friend and upstairs neighbour Gabrieli Archangeli’s (Gianni Cavani’s) name and number.

In contrast to Domenico and his pure sounding name, Gabrieli’s very much the ladies man, with a raging libido that sees him make love to a different “physical therapist” every night for the good of his purported allergies.

Things quickly start spiralling out of control as Marianna then turns up unexpectedly and Domenico tries to keep her secret from his wife, while Gabrieli tries to explain to his own girlfriends – none of whom knows about the others – that he doesn’t know the new arrival.

Benefitting from a solid ensemble cast and a set-up that allows for all manner of amusing – if predictable – scenarios, most revolving around the family, church, hypocrisies and double standards around public virtue and private vice, and other staples of Italian life and comedy, Cornetti alla crema / Cream Horn is an perfectly constructed example of its form.

While Fenech again showcases her comic talents more than her physical assets, only exposing her breasts on a few occasions, real fans shouldn’t mind, especially when the compensation also includes her doing a drunken rendition of when the saints alongside some prostitutes dressed as nuns.

The supporting cast is also first rate, with Banfi also being a reliable sex comedy trouper – he also appeared in one episode of Don’t Play with Tigers, for instance – and Milena Vukotic having ample experience in the long suffering / long a cause of suffering wife via her similar role in the Fantozzi series. The most surprising performer in this right is Cavina, whom most giallo fans will probably better know for his on and off screen contributions to Pupi Avati’s The House with the Windows that Laughed.

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