Sotto . . . sotto | Chicago Reader

Sotto . . . sotto

Lina Wertmuller's strategy of grafting fashionable ideologies onto the most exhausted conventions of Italian sex comedy stopped paying off years ago; as if in acknowledgment, she's upped the ante here, turning even more insistent than usual in her hand-me-down didacticism and pushing her already hysterical style to undreamed-of levels of frantic grimacing and hammering slapstick. For all its excess, there is no plot, only a series of revelations designed to set off a series of exaggerated reactions: Enrico Montesano is a carpenter who first learns that his sex-bomb wife (Veronica Lario) is in love with someone else (ho), then that she's in love with a woman (ho ho), and then that the woman is her best friend (ho ho ho). Wertmuller doesn't want to risk any genuinely radical statement, so naturally the lesbian affair is never consummated. With Luisa de Santis.

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