Screenplay, Carlo and Enrico Vanzina. Camera (color), Gianlorenzo Battaglia; editor, Luca Montanari; music, Manuel De Sica. Original title: Vacanze di Natale 2000. Reviewed at Barberini Cinema, Rome, Jan. 3, 2000. Running time: 110 MIN.
With: Christian De Sica, Massimo Boldi, Megan Gale, Nino D’Angelo, Monica Scattini, Enzo Salvi, Carmen Electra, Irene Ferri.
Numero 3 at Italy’s holiday box office, “Christmas Vacation 2000” zestfully rehashes the series’ wholly local, crowd-pleasing formula. Chic ski town Cortina D’Ampezzo backdrops the broad-to-vulgar humor of comics Christian De Sica (as new owner of a flashy chalet) and Massimo Boldi (his shamelessly exploited future in-law), with a large cast of supports to keep the action jumping around, TV-style, in spoofs about the rich and poor. Numerous references to Italo tube personalities round out the fun.
Secret of the series’ longevity lies in the belief of Carlo (director) and Enrico (co-scripter) Vanzina that, for a comedy to be a national hit, Italo auds must be catered to regionally. Thus, Rome viewers can roar to De Sica’s bored, seen-it-all attitude and to Enzo Salvi’s hammy king of the ‘hood; northern viewers have bumbling Boldi to identify with; and southerners get Nino D’Angelo as a lowly Neapolitan who has won $ 35 million in the lottery and brought 27 raucous relatives to Cortina. Playing herself, Aussie model Megan Gale (flavor of the month with Italo males thanks to her sexy TV commercials), leads pic’s femme brigade of switchable New Year’s bed partners.