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July 22, 2011

Movie Review: Lady Football (1983)

Directed by Nando Cicero
Starring Carmen Russo, Alvaro Vitali
Run Time: 89 minutes - Unrated

A Brazilian soccer superstar, Paulo Roberto (Alvaro Vitali), is lured to play for an Italian team in Naples. After being payed billions of dollars to sign, the coach and owner of the team are horrified to discover that Paolo stinks at soccer, in fact he’s so horrible that whenever the Italian fans get within arms reach of him they try to tear him to pieces. Sensing a national crisis in the making, the teams managers decide to take drastic measures and fly Paolo’s fiance ( played by the luscious Carmen Russo), into Naples in the hopes of making Paolo a little more relaxed in his new surroundings. After setting her up with a job as a dancer, Paolo finds he has a dead-ringer in the form of a lowly plumber, (also played by Alvaro Vitali).

Shenanigans ensue when a wealthy businesswoman in a wheelchair, Madame Contessa, makes a large wager against Naples, and with the help of her over-sized servant, Mandingo, sets out to keep Paolo out of the big game. Meanwhile, Paolo wants the plumber to pose as him and keep an eye on his hot girlfriend and keep her from cheating on him.

Mistaken-identity style hijinks and Benny Hill type naughtiness are the order of the day in this Italian sex-trash comedy, and in my opinion it did managed to hit on a few levels. The comedy was mostly of the slap-stick variety and although not always dead-on, there were quite a few humorous moments throughout. Also helping were the English subtitles, which often didn't seem to match up with what was happening on-screen, which in itself created some unintentional hilarity.

The acting of Alvaro Vitali in the duel roles was actually pretty entertaining. He’s one of those guys who’s facial expressions you just cant help but laugh at, and although the story was average at best, his performance elevated it above the shit-heap it probably would have sat in had he not played the lead role here.

Add to that the show-stealing scenes with Carmen Russo and her amazing breasts (which seem to be perpetually on the verge of busting out of everything she is wearing, but unfortunately never do), and you’ve got the makings of a fairly decent little euro-sex-comedy, albeit, more of a PG-13 style of film. Its risque, but by no means dirty.

If your not expecting too much then you may just be surprised by how watchable this film is. It certainly doesn't rank high in any particular category, but does well enough across the board with the decent comedy and top-shelf eye-candy to give it a thumbs-up. There’s certainly some goofy retro fun  to be had here and I’m sure plenty of people would get a kick out of  this kind of odd-ball comedy.

The DVD transfer is fair, not a total restoration by any means but it is in 16x9 widescreen format, with the audio being in its original mono-format. The lone extra is a theatrical trailer.

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