Fausto Brizzi’s saucy romp benefits from its extra dimension, say Italo critics.
13 Feb 2012 - 11:50 AM  UPDATED 5 Nov 2012 - 9:30 PM

Given Italy's rich tradition in erotic cinema it's no surprise that the territory has produced one of the world's first sex comedies in 3D.

Director/co-writer Fausto Brizzi's Com'è bello far l'amore (translated roughly as How beautiful to make love) is the saucy saga of a long-married couple whose non-existent sex life perks up when two porn stars become their house guests.

Explaining the decision to shoot in 3D, Brizzi told Cineuropa: “Reality is three-dimensional and all films should be shot as such, because the effect is more realistic, you laugh or cry more.”

Medusa launched the romantic comedy budgeted at a reasonable €6.5 million ($A8 million) on 600 prints on February 10. According to Cineuropa, the film was sponsored by a prominent manufacturer of sex aids, which evidently gets its quid pro quo in liberal onscreen displays of condoms, vibrating rings and inflatable dolls.

The working title was Sex in 3D, which, the director reasoned, “would have worked very well internationally, but… would have distanced families." Brizzi added, “The laughter is used to reveal all the hypocrisy of sex around a classic Italian family. We abandon the old 'si fa ma non si dice e, soppratutto si vede' (we do it but we don't talk about it and above all we see it.)”

Italy's entry to the field of 3D erotica follows Hong Kong director Christopher Sun's 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, which was erroneously touted as the world's first 3D sex film when it was released in 2011. In fact, that honour belongs to Korean director Kyung-Jung Ju's Natalie, the tale of a playboy art professor and his hot-looking student, which came out in 2010.

Com'è bello far l'amore features Fabio De Luigi and Claudia Gerini as the jaded, middle-aged couple, Andrea and Guilia. Their humdrum lives are spiced up when an old friend of Guilia's, porn star Max (Filippo Timi), turns up with his busty, babelicious colleague Vanessa (Giorgia Wurth).

“The result is a comedy that mixes sex with fine sentiments, irony with trash, nostalgic moments with naked scenes, a range of laughs with various thrills,” opined Cineuropa's reviewer Vittoria Scarpa.

“The whole thing is peppered with tributes to cinema (the film opens on the Lumière brothers who, tasked with deciding on the subject of their first shoot, decide to film their beautiful naked cousin taking a bath, forget the train in a station) as well as a few pokes at art-house films, especially those of Bellocchio and Lars Von Trier, which are so boring that people only go to see them to smooch.”

Best Movie critic George Viaro declared the idea of a porn actor acting as a teacher to a couple undergoing a mid-life crisis is a perfect starting point for a “collection of gags and extreme situations,” and praised the 3D for adding value and enhancing numerous scenes.

If the movie works, I wonder if it may encourage Australian filmmakers to shoot rom-coms in 3D. Not that we have a great track record in that genre.