×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Christmas Vacation ’95

Fourth and latest in the "Christmas Vacation" series shows commercial Italian comedy at its nadir: sexist, homophobic, provincial and stale. Pic has become, however, the season's second-highest-grossing Christmas hit, climbing to $ 15 million afterfour weeks. Foxy movie owes its local success to ritzy, dream-vacation U.S. locations, strongly sketched characters that mass auds can identify with and two well-worn stars performing in familiar roles. Mental involvement required of viewers is somewhat less than for a TV gameshow.

With:
Remo ... Christian De Sica Lorenzo ... Massimo Boldi Luke Perry ... Himself Marta ... Cristiana Capotondi Kelly/Michelle ... Elizabeth Nottoli Jane ... Claire Ferris Paolone ... Paolo Bonacelli

Fourth and latest in the “Christmas Vacation” series shows commercial Italian comedy at its nadir: sexist, homophobic, provincial and stale. Pic has become, however, the season’s second-highest-grossing Christmas hit, climbing to $ 15 million afterfour weeks. Foxy movie owes its local success to ritzy, dream-vacation U.S. locations, strongly sketched characters that mass auds can identify with and two well-worn stars performing in familiar roles. Mental involvement required of viewers is somewhat less than for a TV gameshow.

Gambling addict Remo Proietti (Christian De Sica) wings it to Aspen,Colo., trailing after his angry American wife, Kelly (Elizabeth Nottoli). On the same plane is Lorenzo (Massimo Boldi), who is taking his 14-year-old daughter, Marta (Cristiana Capotondi), on vacation.

Lorenzo becomes hysterical when he realizes Marta insisted on going to Aspen to meet (and, he fears, seduce) teen idol Luke Perry (who — dubbed into Italian — wryly plays himself as a modest, chivalrous superstar). This section, squarely aimed at teen viewers, is redeemed by the delightful film debut of Capotondi, whose fresh naturalness is sure to be exploited in future pics.

To pay his gambling debts with the swinish Paolone (Paolo Bonacelli), Remo is forced to sign an “indecent proposal” (his own words) permitting Paolone to perform a number of natural and unnatural acts on his wife, some requiring the use of a cucumber. A stranger to subtle innuendoes, pic delights in pushing nudity (male and female) to gratuitous extremes.

With the exception of Marta, all characters do a good amount of disrobed acting, particularly a crazy American girl, Jane (Claire Ferris), who attaches herself to Lorenzo. There is female mud wrestling, a striptease, a sauna scene, a gay bar scene, driving in the nude and an encounter between Remo and Lorenzo in the shower in which a homosexual encounter is explicitly pantomimed.

Conceived by writer-directors Carlo and Enrico Vanzina, the series is now being serviceably helmed by Neri Parenti, whose name was long attached to the more stimulating “Fantozzi” comedies about a bumbling public servant (played by Paolo Villaggio). Tech work is as good as it needs to be, with special attention given to the enticing ski slopes of Aspen. Music is a string of disco and pop hits.

Christmas Vacation '95

(ITALIAN)

Production: A Filmauro production and release. Produced by Aurelio De Laurentiis. Executive producer, Maurizio Amati. Directed, written by Neri Parenti. Screenplay, Parenti, based on an idea by Enrico and Carlo Vanzina.

Crew: Camera (color, Cinecitta), Gian Lorenzo Battaglia; editor, Sergio Montanari; music, Manuel De Sica; art direction, Maria Stilde Ambruzzi; sound, Fulgenzio Ceccon; line producer, Marcello Crescenzi. Reviewed at Eden Cinema, Rome, Dec. 29, 1995. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Remo ... Christian De Sica Lorenzo ... Massimo Boldi Luke Perry ... Himself Marta ... Cristiana Capotondi Kelly/Michelle ... Elizabeth Nottoli Jane ... Claire Ferris Paolone ... Paolo Bonacelli

More Film

  • Berlin Film 'The Ground Beneath My

    Berlin Competition Film 'The Ground Beneath My Feet' Sold to Germany's Salzgeber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Salzgeber has acquired the German rights for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” from sales agent Picture Tree International. Variety has been given exclusive access to the film’s trailer. Salzgeber will release the film, directed by Marie Kreutzer, mid-May. Trailer for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series tonight (Jan. 15), held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Film News Roundup: Glenn Close Selected for Oscar Wilde Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Glenn Close gets an honor, AFI names its Directing Workshop for Women participants and Teri Polo gets cast in a Christmas drama. CLOSE HONOR Glenn Close will be honored on Feb. 21 by the US-Ireland Alliance at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in [...]

  • Jason Reitman Ghostbusters

    Jason Reitman to Direct Secret 'Ghostbusters' Movie

    Sony Pictures is getting the wheels in motion for the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and it knows who it’s going to call to direct: Jason Reitman. Sources tell Variety that Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, will direct the latest pic in the famous franchise. Reitman has also co-written a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content