Beach House / Casotto (1977)

5.0 out of 5

In a funny kind of way some of the promotional artwork out there for Casotto makes the film look like one of those screwball American cheerleader or Porkies type comedies. This really does give the wrong impression of what the film is about.

Yes, it is a comedy and at times a little bit goofy. But, the film is far smarter than that. It makes wonderful observations about life and its flawed characters are, despite the obvious exaggerations, recognisable as the scheming, the vain, the pious, the hypocritical, the manipulative, the chaste and so on. It's life in microcosm

The film is set in one room. That room is a changing room on a beach or a beach-house and the characters reveal more of their inner selves as they interact with each brief visit. Highlights include a sunburned couple who seek a quiet moment to make love without touching, a man with two dicks and the competition for female companionship between two wide-boys from Rome and two posers from Torino with tissue paper stuffed down their trunks.

The star billing goes to a fifteen year old Jodie Foster but there are also turns from director Michele Placido, Ugo Tognazzi and a brief dream sequence appearance for Catherine Deneuve amongst this heavy-hitting cast. The result is intelligent and, to be honest, near brilliant. Writer Vincenzo Cerami also penned the award winning Life Is Beautiful while Pasolini collaborator Sergio Citti directs.

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