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Avanti! (1972)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 3,230

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Movie Info

This enchanting yet dark romantic comedy stars Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills as a pair of mismatched lovers helplessly drawn into a series of seemingly hopeless but humorous situations as in Lemmon's The Out-of -Towners two years earlier. Lemmon is Wendell Armbruster Jr., an overbearing American business tycoon forced to travel to the beautiful Italian island of Ischia to claim the body of his recently departed father. What begins with a rather elementary premise evolves into a succession of

Jul 15, 2003

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

Marvellous performances from Lemmon and Mills.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Avanti! isn't a laugh-a-minute kind of a movie, and it's too long by maybe half an hour.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (2)
Chicago Sun-Times
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This 1972 release is the most underrated of all Billy Wilder comedies and arguably the one that comes closest to the sweet mastery and lilting grace of his mentor, Ernst Lubitsch.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Intermittently funny, charming, cute and, unfortunately, over-long.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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There is a lot of Billy Wilder in [Avanti!], including the idea that age is a state of mind. The film doesn't all work, [but] when the rigid Armbruster warms up on a sunny rock,... Wilder is telling us something that is more than just fun.

March 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Bright Lights Film Journal
Bright Lights Film Journal

Wilder justifies this film's length (144 minutes) with its loving, carefree and even relaxing Italian vacation atmosphere.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A delightful romantic comedy, Billy Wilder style, meaning that its romanticism is curdled and its comedy is amusingly dark.

August 14, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Weak Billy Wilder is worth a watch.

April 28, 2006

It has many delightfully absurd moments in which Jack Lemmon and Brit actress Juliet Mills thoroughly exploit to the fullest.

December 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A biting farce about an American in Italy, this gets great comic mileage out of Lemmon, Mills and the Mediterranean, but Wilder seems uncertain whether he's laughing with or at his protagonists.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

It's not vintage Billy Wilder, but even lesser Wilder has wit to spare.

February 2, 2003
Nitrate Online

Gentle and touching satirical drama with Lemmon on form but without much bite.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Avanti!

Avanti! is the first Jack Lemmon film that I was slightly irritated by, it's incredibly drawn out and could have been condensed to a much more watchable length.

The actual plot of the dark comedy is quite a funny situation, but isn't as good as other Lemmon films.
July 10, 2011

Super Reviewer

Another funny comedy with Jack Lemmon falling in love in Italy. Again he is directed by Wilder, and the result is a good comedy. If you're a fan of either of them, check out this movie.
December 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

Another one of the many films Wilder made with Jack Lemmon. Lemmon is a high strung American executive always in a hurry and unable to understand the Italian way of slowing down and enjoying life. He goes to an Italian island to collect his father who died in a car accident. His father died with his secret mistress beside him. The daughter, Juliet Mills, of the woman has come to the island from England to collect her mother too. Lemmon learns of his father having a mistress from her and from the hotel staff. Everyone at the hotel including Clive Revill, (now an Italian) the manager of the hotel, knows that the affair had been going on for a month every summer for ten years! Lemmon struggles with these facts he never knew about his father and deals with many humorous complications in arranging to take his father home to a big media covered funeral while keeping the affair a secret. All the hotel staff think the younger couple look like his father and her mother, so of course a romantic situation develops. Armbruster Jr. (Lemmon) says he's hip enough to realize there's nothing wrong with a one night stand, or even many short affairs, but a long-term affair like his father had, that's cheating on his mother. Hhmmm!? Miss Piggott (Mills) wants to make the point that their long-term affair was based on love, that they could enjoy life and be happy in Italy, and that it was beautiful. She suggests they be buried side by side on this Italian island where they were happier. Miss Piggott eventually helps Armbruster Jr. learn a bit of Italian and enjoy life. When a servant knocks at your door in the hotel to clean your room and asks "permiso," you can answer "avanti," or "come in," "your permitted." It is by this little play on words that Lemmon and Mills realize they are in love. Lemmon's character has a wife at home too, but the film ends with these two new lovers basically promising to meet each summer on this island like their parents did. It was a colorful quirky movie, but when you think about it the message is that infidelity isn't that bad.
November 18, 2008

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Foreign Titles

  • Avanti, Avanti! (DE)
  • Avanti! (1972) (CA)
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