Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sophia Loren times three!

For those who like anthology movies, TCM is airing an Italian film from the genre tomorrow morning at 4:45 AM: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

THe movie is billed as telling three stories of the ways in which women use their bodies to get the things they want, and that's more or less accurate. All three stories star Sophia Loren as the woman, and Marcelo Mastroianni as the man in her life. First is a story called "Adelina", in which Loren plays a woman in the slums of Naples. She's incurred a debt for the furniture in the house she and her husband live in, and it's gotten to the point where she can go to jail for fraud. However, there's an exemption in Italian law (or so the movie claims) that a mother who is pregnant or nursing can't be put in prison. So Adelina gets the brilliant idea that she can avoid going to jail as long as she's either pregnant, or nursing her latest child. And boy does she get pregnant! You'd think she'd hit menopause eventually, but what happens first is that her husband (Mastroianni, of course) is unable to put out with the racket from all those kids.

In the second segment, Loren plays Anna, the wife of a wealthy industrialist. Her husband is always away on business, so she spends her days driving around not so much aimlessly, but with the intention of picking up her man on the side (Mastroianni) somewhere where they won't be noticed. This will let them enjoy a romantic tryst and, they hope, not get caught. All goes to plan until the two get in an argument over who can drive better, and they end up crashing the car. Oops.

The final story has Loren as a prostitute who uses her own apartment to entertain her guests. She also likes to exit her apartment out onto the terrace rather scantily clad, which means she entertaining the people in the apartment across the way. The problem with this is that the grandson of that apartment's owner is a young man who's studying for the seminary, and Loren's beauty is getting him entierly too excited....

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is more about Loren than Mastroianni, and she shines. The stories are pretty good, but more in service of Loren's beauty and acting ability. That, and the beauty of Naples, and in the second segment some of the countryside around Naples. This is a movie that in more ways than one is lovely to look at. Don't let that make you think the stories are inferior; they should entertain you too. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow has been released to DVD, so you don't have to worry that it's on at such an ungodly hour.

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