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Sesso e volentieri

Taking a forty-year break from cinema. This is how Gloria Guida bids us farewell, leaving the big screen but continuing her career with a few appearances in theatre and television dramas.
Our (former) favourite classmate has long since graduated and we can even say she has also graduated and so with great intelligence she takes her leave and does so with a film directed by Dino Risi. Not just any film.
At her side her husband Johnny Dorelli, Laura Antonelli and a whole series of rather good supporting and character actors ranging from Giuliana Calandra, Pippo Santonastaso, Margaret Lee, Yorgo Voyagis and Venantino Venantini.
A good picture. On paper. Because watching Sesso e Volentieri immediately brings to mind that the golden times have passed a little for everyone.
Dino Risi, for example, tries to reintroduce the tried and tested and successful scheme of the episodic comedy, with much nostalgia and admiration for his Vedo Nudo and Sesso Matto and therefore with that pinch of pepper and chilli that the title already lets us imagine.
Here, however, the script written by Risi himself with Vanzina and Zapponi veers dangerously towards the joke or at least towards light and somewhat silly situations (see the Lady Jane segment with Margaret Lee). It would be nice to be able to say that Risi realises this and tries to save himself by relying on Dorelli's clenched-tooth comedy and his politeness. Whether this is actually the case is not certain, what is certain is that the Milanese showman is the star of the entire film, the protagonist of all ten episodes, and that yes, he never makes mistakes. Not even in the worst moments. Gloria Guida, who is present in five segments, follows him closely and is interesting in what is the best moment of the entire film, namely when she plays a radio taxi operator who continues with her robotic and repetitive voice even when she returns home, where she finds her husband committing suicide.
For the rest, however, there is little to save. Laura Antonelli is not very convincing and we often see her involved in spicy situations, which we have already seen on other occasions. And the rest passes unnoticed.
Curiously enough, the segment that opens the film, Domenica In, in which the magician Giucas Casella performs the well-known experiment of chained hands, leaving Dorelli and Guida stuck, in this case, actually took place years later, in 1988, to the detriment of Dino, a child later freed by Casella himself. But this is one of the few reasons to see a film more suitable for Risi completists and especially for Gloria Guida completists. Here are reviews of all his films.