DIRECTOR: CHARLES FINCH
COUNTRY: ITALY/USA 1989
CINEMATOGRAPHY: LUCIANO TOVOLI
CAST: Christopher Lambert, Diane Lane, Francesco Quinn, J. C. Quinn, Claudia O'Hara
Italians love to make schlock films. I think its in their genes to think that Hollywood is not the only place putting together nothing films for money. Ohhh wait ... it's more work for a star actor! And if they aren't about the mythical heroes like Hercules, or the Amazons, they are about the extremes of fantasy. In the fifties and sixties, it was this European country who embraced the work of Ray Harryhousen, specially the Sinbad series, because many of these stories are related to their romantic past history and tales.
This film is a bit different from those stories, but follows the same principles of the myths. A young man, has lost his friend, a fellow member of his band who was apparently instrumental in helping him create the hit songs he had written, and this loss has pretty much caused him to retire from the music world, in an attempt to either find himself, or to find his own piece of mind.
And he has plenty of time to be by himself, and the beach area where he lives. And one day, he has a notion that he sees something just off the beach and he swims to get it. He brings up a vase and takes it home. It turns out that a genie, a very pretty woman, has lived in it for a long time. He has always dreamed of a special woman, and all of a sudden she is here. She has a magical touch, and he likes that. Their relationship develops, and she makes her accidental mistakes by granting him his wishes without realizing those are not what he is looking for. One is to build a palace on the beach, which will destroy the natural wonder of the place....
And in time, she helps him face his lost friend, and his quitting the music business, but in the process he also finds that he is losing the genie that loves him, but to whom he can no longer respond. And the rejection is a bit of a fall for the genie, who now has lost her vase (stolen by the man trying to get him back into the music business) and is dying. They get the vase back and the genie gets back in it. The vase is returned into the ocean. And the young musician is now alone again, and almost drowned, left in the beach. And lo and behold, there is a jogger who passes by, and helps him, and she looks exactly like the genie, except that this time she is real. End of story.
While this film will never garner much attention as a very good one, there are some very nice touches here. It must have been written by a musician, for the music is continuously shown, and an integral part of the film. The songs are the mind of this man.
The film has a bit of the SPLASH in it, but is different. It features Christopher Lambert in his younger days, probably before the HIGHLANDER series of work which made him well known. While it is obvious that this is not a major production, it at least has enough in it to make it a very nice, small film, the type you find in the fantasy sections of your video store, but you never heard of it.
WORTH A LOOK when you just want to will the time away. Romantic film in all of its aspects. The music is not great, but it is nice.
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