Stay As You Are (1978)
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I love Mastroianni, but this was truly one of the worst films I have ever seen. The direction and acting are somewhere between 70s softcore porn flick and a daytime soap opera. The plot is completely contrived and its two main pillars-the love story and the question of Francesca's origins- seem to exist only because each lacked the substance to carry the film on its own. Yes, Kinski is beautiful and previous cinematic experiences will invest Marcello with a dynamism that his actual performance is lacking, but there is nothing of substance to be had here. The film imparts no insight on the tension between erotic infatuation and potential incest. It has nothing beyond the banal to communicate about intergenerational romance. When compared to films that explore similar themes like Eric Rohmer's Le Genou de Claire, Stay As You Are feels like a parody of an art film...and perhaps even that is too much praise.
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