Monika / La ragazzina (1974)

2.5 out of 5

Monika, while looking like a typical sex comedy of the era, is probably better described as a coming of age drama. It stars Gloria Guida and it is her debut feature.

Sometimes fun, but often too creepy, the ending threatens to enter To Be Twenty territory but instead ends rather abruptly just when it seems that things are about to get going.

Miss Teenage Italy steals the show in every scene she appears but it is difficult to discern the core audience. If the film is pitched at the teen market, as with Ornella Muti vehicle Summer Affair, then it is a bit of a misfire as the parade of middle aged men leering over Ms Guida are likely to leave too many of this demographic completely weirded out. This is very much in Sins Within The Family or Blue Jeans territory.

With Gloria playing a fifteen year old schoolgirl, despite in reality being nineteen, the film can only really, on the other hand, be aimed at a certain strand of the dirty mackintosh brigade. However the drama itself is passable, the wonderful Nico Fidenco provides the score, Gloria's performance confident, the direction Mario Imperoli is that of an exploitation journeyman and, as such, gets the job done.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics