Furrow of the Peach, The / Il solco di pesca (1975)

2.0 out of 5

With a title taken from a dedication to the derrière of Elizabeth Barret Browning it should be immediately obvious that that this pygophilia inspired affair attempts to create a highbrow comedy from the more generally lowbrow genre of the sex comedy. Themes pondered include guilt, fetishism, theology, history, psychology, philosophy, literature and classical Latin and it is all very clever. Unfortunately it is exceptionally unfunny most of the time. Mildly amusing yes, a diversion yes, but one almost totally devoid of laugh out loud moments despite the breezy score and absurd situations promising fun.

On the plus side it is a film that may, for some at least, hold up to repeat viewing as there is far more to consider here than the more prevalent slapstick routines of the more populist sex comedies. For many however the juxtaposition of sexual hi-jinx and intellectual masturbation of the South Bank Show variety may prove to be too much. Indeed, it is not totally clear whether the film seeks to legitimise the genre in polite company or take the piss out of the general mass market target audience of the filone.

For a far more entertaining take on the core theme of the film there is Lucio Fulci's The Senator Likes Women or some of the later comedy works of Tinto Brass. That said, it is still nice to see Gloria Guida in something with a little more depth than the usual Confessions or Carry On type film and if there is a strata of Chekov loving, Browning quoting, Latin speaking, existentialist ass worshippers out there who would like to spend a pleasant hour and a half watching Guida bending over in stockings and short maid outfits while Martine Brochard pouts incessantly then this is surely the film that fits the bill. It's all a bit like one of those boring, yet worthy, comedies that came out of Britain in the mid to late 1980s except with more flesh and no Timothy Spall.

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