Warm Life, The / La calda vita (1964)

3.0 out of 5

The camera certainly loves the Italian coast and none more so than here in La calda vita. The camera also adores Catherine Spaak.

This is a beach movie, a romance, a coming of age tale and a drama with tragedy thrown in for good measure. While the film is, in part, an excuse for Catherine Spaak to bounce around at the beach in various states of undress there is a darker drama that lurks beneath the surface as jealousy and strained friendships are tested on an excursion to a beach hut on an exquisite seashore.

La Calda vita is, in all respects, a feast for the eyes and one that cannot fail to please. It has none of the dark undercurrent of So Young, So Lovely, So Vicious, nor the exploitation themes of Sisters of Ursula. It has none of the thriller qualities of Top Sensation and it possesses none of the boat based class politics of Waves of Lust. These titles may benefit from delightful coastline settings but there are other things that can be done at the beach. The Warm Life is one of those things. It also has far more depth than Summer Affair, another island based romance benefiting from azure skies and turquoise seas, but yet it still finds time for the obligatory messing around in bikinis, water-skis and boats. It even has a stock footage shark, albeit only for a few seconds.

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