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When Gods Meet

A generally lame debut with the occasional redeeming moment, Antonello De Leo's unsubtle '60s-style comedy "When Gods Meet" aims to preach sexual tolerance while falling back on time-honored stereotypes. Brave, script-defying perfs from the leads and a pleasant soundtrack are not enough to revive matters. B.O. since release has been slow in both producing territories, with tube sales looking likeliest.

A generally lame debut with the occasional redeeming moment, Antonello De Leo’s unsubtle ’60s-style comedy “When Gods Meet” aims to preach sexual tolerance while falling back on time-honored stereotypes. Brave, script-defying perfs from the leads and a pleasant soundtrack are not enough to revive matters. B.O. since release has been slow in both producing territories, with tube sales looking likeliest.

Gay Renato (established Catalan actor Pere Ponce) meets gay Ginevra (clean-cut Italian Claudia Gerini) at a wedding. When his grandmother expresses a dying wish that he make out with a woman, Renato — who loves grandma deeply — turns to Ginevra, who plays in a lesbian rock band. Renato and Ginevra are surprisingly attracted to each other and spend the rest of pic, which quickly degenerates into badly-paced farce, pretending to each other and to their friends — Ginevra to her lover Elisa (Ana Risueno) and Renato to his, Francesco (Paolo Sassanelli). Highpoint is a dreamlike first sex scene between Renato and Ginevra, each imagining the other to be their former lover. Otherwise , style, wit and characterization are notably thin, and production values noticeably low-budget.

When Gods Meet

(ITALY-SPAIN)

Production: A UIP release (in Spain) of a Blu Cinematografica (Italy)/Esicma (Spain) production, with participation of RAI, Tele Plus, Canal Plus. Produced by Massimo Ferraro, Leo Pescarolo. Directed by Antonello De Leo. Screenplay, Franca De Angelis, Francesca Panzarella. Camera (color), Marco Onorato; editor, Maurizio Baglivio; music, Paulo Buonvino. Reviewed at Cine Palacio de la Prensa, Madrid, April 26, 2000. Original title: La vespa e la regina. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: With: Pere Ponce, Claudia Gerini, Ana Risueno, Pia Velsi, Paolo Sassanelli.

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