The White Sheik (1951, Federico Fellini)

Why isn’t there already a Hollywood remake of this? Seems like the perfect convoluted rom-com plot. Boy (sweaty Leopoldo Trieste – replace with Matt Damon… or Steve Coogan, it’s not important) and new wife (Brunella Bovo of Miracle In Milan – maybe Katherine Heigl) are honeymooning in Rome. He has their trip meticulously planned, but she sneaks out while he’s napping and goes to visit the offices of her favorite magazine – meets the romance writer (Fanny MarchiĆ³ of Variety Lights – I’m thinking Glenn Close) who gets the newlywed whisked away to a photo shoot with her idol the White Sheik (Alberto Sordi of Mafioso: Ben Affleck). Hijinks ensue.

I like the sweating James Gandolfini-looking hotel attendant, and that the sheik is introduced with a mighty crotch shot underneath a swing, and that there are apparently references to future Fellini movies (the husband is tempted by prostitute Cabiria). I like that Ivan covers for his wife, since he’d seemed the type to blame her in front of his family for his day going wrong, but he secretly searches for her whilst placating his family, and she gets increasingly caught up in the photo shoot (they’ve just put her in costume when the director yells “get ready for the rape scene!”), while the Sheik looks increasingly like a cad, making the inevitable happy reunion of the couple (moments before their audience before the pope) that much more meaningful.

Watched for the Shadowplay Film Club, which has a much better write-up, hence my lack of effort.

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