Cerca di capirmi [Try To Understand] (1970) March 25, 2018 20:55

Massimo Ranieri in Cerca di capirmi

There are fewer things that can brighten up your day than finally finding a film you've been searching for almost a decade.  Ever since I became aware of the existence of Barbara Bouchet I've been hunting down everything IMDb.com claims she's been in, and the highly elusive Italian romantic comedy Cerca di capirmi was one of the hardest ones to find on this short list.  So imagine my surprise when someone found a recording made from an airing on Italian TV, and then imagine my reaction when I sat down and watched it.

Massimo Ranieri & Bebe Loncar in Cerca di capirmi

Cerca di capirmi (Try To Understand) stars Italian newcomer actor and singer Massimo Ranieri as Franco Bertoli, a young good looking guy living in Rome who falls for a visiting American named Liz Sher (Serbian stunner Beba Loncar).  What starts off as shy flirting from Franco quickly blossoms into the two moving in together.  But when Liz's parents visit and begin talking marriage, Franco moving to America, and finding him a stable job, he begins to stress out that things are moving way too fast.  While he loves Liz he's not sure he wants to change everything about his life so quickly.

Bebe Loncar with baby turtle in Cerca di capirmi

There's not a whole lot out there about Cerca di capirmi, but I did find this brief critical blurb on the film from an old Italian film magazine which after translated into English says something to the effect that Cerca di capirmi is...

An insipid sentimental story, made up of clichés, dozens of humor and characters without psychological consistency.

I have to say that single sentence sums this film about as good as any, for a pretty one dimensional story with a lot of inconsistencies and characters that are simply dropped or poorly flushed out.  The film gives more screen time to Franco's poor little baby turtle that he's holding hostage in a glass of water than it ever bothers showing how Franco and Liz even met in the first place!  Also the film has a very odd fascination with portraying all Americans as loud mouth, idiotic drunks.

Barbara Bouchet??? Cerca di capirmi

The biggest disappointment, was the entire reason I'd been looking for this film for almost a decade, Barbara Bouchet, she wasn't in it!  While I wasn't expecting her to play a major role in the film I did expect to see her at least pop up in a couple of scenes.  I can only assume one of three explanations for her blatant absence.

1st IMDb.com is wrong. Multiple Italian film sources on the internet do not credit Barbara Bouchet as being in this film. 

2nd her scenes were cut from the version I watched.  IMDb.com and a few other sources I found claim the original run-time of the film is 89 mins, what I watched was 79 mins so the version that aired on Italian TV appears to have 10 minutes missing. 

3rd she's in the film as an un-credited extra.  Near the end of the film there is a party scene and there's a girl they only show from the back that looks like Barbara Bouchet.  It's possible it could be her, as it's not uncommon for actresses who eventually find success to later be credited for extra work on IMDb.com.  This was also the case with Bouchet in one of her early American appearances in the film Bedtime Story where you have to pause the film to catch a split second glimpse of her.

/blogs/barbara-bouchet/86279619-barbara-bouchet-film-review-bedtime-story-1964

Whatever the case may be there's nothing much more painful, when it comes to watching a film, than sitting though something in a language you already don't understand and expecting someone who never shows up!  Still it's not the worst film I've ever seen, and Italian film scores are always great, even though they reused the opening theme song over and over to the point of absurdity.  The shining light is the search is finally over, there just sadly was no payoff, unless that missing 10 minutes holds the key, but we will likely never find that out.  

4/10

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