Wendell goes to italy to pick up his fathers body after an automobile accident. He soon finds that his self-righteous elderly father had been having an affair with pamilas mother for the past 10 years and were known as the... more » model romantic couple at the hotel. Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 01/25/2005 Starring: Jack Lemmon Juliet Mills Run time: 126 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Billy Wilder« less
Loren D. Morrison | Los Angeles County, U.S.A. | 12/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's nothing too complicated about the plot. A rich American businessman played by Jack Lemmon has to make a sudden trip to Italy to claim the body of his father who was killed in an auto accident. He meets a young English woman, played by Juliet Mills, who has come to Italy to claim the body of her mother who, it turns out, died with Lemmon's father. It seems that these two were in the midst of their annual month long tryst. For many years they had been meeting at exactly the same date at exactly the same Italian resort for what was obviously their raison d'etre.Strait-laced Lemmon is shocked that his father could possibly behave in such a manner. Life loving Mills is thrilled that her mother had found love and happiness. The rest of the plot consists of the complications of dealing with Italian bureaucracy and the evolution of Lemmon's character from cold efficient American businessman to a warm loving human being. Mills has "just a bit" to do with these changes in Lemmon.There was a running gag throughout the movie that exactly reflected my own experiences in Italy. The morgue was closed until 4:00 because it was lunch time. There were no taxis because it was lunch time. A helicopter was told not to land at a local airport because it was lunch time. In my own experience, when attempting to cash some travelers' checks in Rome, I was made to wait at a bank window for over 30 minutes while the cashier finished his sandwich and looked at a newspaper. No, no other window cashed travelers' checks and yes, he'd take care of me when he was ready, but he wasn't ready yet. I think that the feeling of "been there, done that" really added to my enjoyment of AVANTI, and the jokes built around the Italian inefficiencies did a lot to create the atmosphere of the whole movie. You don't have to have been there, however, to enjoy this movie. It's warm and funny on its own. Lemmon and Mills seem destined for one another, and the hotel manager, played by Clive Revill, who is obviously in love with love, adds another dimension of humor. No great drama, but loving good-natured comedy is what you can expect from AVANTI."
Looking for love in all the right places...
masonx | 08/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Accidently caught this late night movie while channel surfing in a hotel room on a freezing London night far from home and nursing a cold.I was enchanted as I'd never heard of it.Jack Lemmon as Wendell Armbruster and Juliet Mills as Pamela Pigott give convincing portrayals of a millionaire american and a working class englishwoman come to Italy to retrieve the bodies of his father and her mother,who unknown to their families had been lovers for years and had died tragically together in a car accident.Jack Lemmon displays his acumen for comedy without even trying and miss Mills gives an understated performance.But kudos must go to the person who cast Clive Reville in the part of Carlucci the indispensible hotel manager.When he blurts out 'idiota' to an incompetent underling in absolute frustration its an absolute delight.It was a while before I realized he wasnt neapolitan.What a pity his talents have not been more recognized.I would also commend the melodic theme music arranged by Mr Rustichelli.The ending was not a complete surprise but fitting all the same. Please rent this one out all you romance lovers,you will not be disappointed, ...as for my cold,lo and behold the next morning it was gone!,funny that..."
Sleeper romantic comedy: Lemmon and Mills make this classic
Adam Bernstein | Northwest, USA | 12/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With "Senza Fina" as the musical theme we've got a top rate romantic comedy in "Avanti!" Jack Lemmon arrives in Italy to get his father's corpse back to the US in time for the funeral to be viewed by 200,000 people on closed circuit TV (black and white in Puerto Rico). The jokes reference the time (1972) as the pilot in flight tells a State Department guy, "Greece is on the far left" "Not while I'm in the State Department". And Jack Lemmon's earily relevant gripe: "Goddamn Ralph Nader".
But what really makes this film is Juliet Mills who just came off the show, "Nanny and the Professor" and proves herself here as the weight-conscious lass who wins Lemmon's heart...and ours. It seems her mother and Lemmon's father had a 10 year affair at the hotel whose manager played by Clive Revill takes care of all the arrangements (What would Lemmon do without him). Meanwhile the porter is trying to blackmail Lemmon with compromising photos. Lemmon can no longer resist Mills charm. "Permesso?" "Avanti!" 5 stars."
To Willie and Kate with Love
john gordon | Sheffield, England | 07/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am biased in my review of this film, I first saw it in the 70's and I fell instantly in love with Italy, thank you Billy Wilder.
To paraphrase Pamela Piggot; 'Avanti is not a film, it is an emotion ' Everytime I watch this film I am transported into the ongoing and timeless world of Wendle Ambruster Jnr. Pamela Piggot, Carlo Carluci and the rest of the characters in this perfect film.
I like to think that Wendle and Pamela are still meeting 15 July to 15 August every year.
The film is yet another of Billy Wilders masterpieces of cinema, I only hope younger film fans will come to appreciate his portfolio of classic films, all of them good, but this one is my personal favorite."
TV | Philadelphia, PA USA | 07/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is on my all time favorites list. Jack Lemmon is at his bumbling best while Julier Mills is so sweet and funny, you'll fall in love with her too. Take note of the swim sequence. You'll roll with laughter. I saw this movie when it came out in the 70s in the theater. Loved it then, love it even more now. Every time I watch it, I laugh even more. A truly great romantic comedy."