Two middle-aged married couples are sharing the same villa on the Italian Riviera as they have done every summer for some years now. Psychologist Matteo is happily married to his wife Francesca and they have an eight year old daughter, whereas Diego and his wife Shary have separated and re-united so many times, that everyone, including them, has lost track.
Shary announces that their son David who is studying in New York will be joining them this year to celebrate his 18th birthday. As it is 10 years since Matteo & Francesca have seen the boy they can’t wait to see how he has changed. Particularly Matteo who is visibly stunned when he catches his first glimpse of this stunningly handsome young man with his mop of curly hair and his well-defined chiseled body. In his spare time he also works as an underwear model. As David climbs out of the swimming pool soaking wet he walks towards a dazed Matteo who stammers something like ‘do you remember me?‘ to which the boy chirpily replies ‘ yes, you used to hold me in his arms.‘ And from them on the movie suddenly veers into being something like more akin to soft porn.
Matteo still evident enjoys a healthy sex life with his wife but now becomes totally obsessed with David and develops into both a peeping tom and a stalker. When he peers through an open door to witness David touching himself provocatively whilst showering wearing a skimpy speedo, Matteo is close to bursting. And not in a good way. He is next seen jerking himself off in bed, and then turns and literally rapes his wife afterwards.
There is a spectator who is observing Matteo behaving badly and fawning over a compliant David in the shape of Leonard, Shary’s brother, who is moping around trying to get over the suicide of the love of his life Isabel. The way he stares at his nephew David being pursued by Matteo hints at that fact that he may feelings that way too but that story strand fizzles out and was obviously just a red herring .
The whole movie started in a box at the Opera with all the adults watching a performance of Wagner’s Tristan & Isolde with its tragic tale of forbidden love. It ends in a heavy-handed melodramatic way in a very Douglas Sirk way after the two men are caught in flagrante by Francesca. Except this being Italian it was all much more exaggerated to the point of actually being ridiculous, and its inevitable that it’s all going to end in tears for someone.
As a piece of soft porn it was boring, although I will concede that Thyago Alves an unknown Brazilian actor playing David was very sexy, and that his scene of naked passion with Massimo Poggio playing Matteo was hot. It was however more of a telenovela with all its histrionics and pouting close ups than a more traditional melodrama, and the finale that was written as a tragic epitaph, evoked more than a smile or two as it was so camp.
I’m not sure if director Marco Filiberti took any inspiration from Visconti’s much superior ‘Death In Venice’ but this story of an old man lusting after a young bares some similarites I guess. At least this time the prey was of legal consent.Available from Amazon