Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 15th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1970
Director: Alberto Lattuada
Writers: Adriano Baracco, Piero Chiara, Tullio Kezich, Alberto Lattuada
Cast: Ugo Tognazzi, Francesca Romana Coluzzi, Angela Goodwin, Milena Vukotic, Jean-Jacques Fourgeaud, Valentine, Antonio Piovanelli, Piero Chiara, Checco Rissone, Carla Mancini
DVD released: December 6th, 2011
Approximate running time: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Raro Video
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A middle age tax collector wanting to retire, looks for a wealthy wife. In no time he stumbles upon three spinster sisters, who father has recently died and left them his fortune. Not wanting someone to swoop in before him, he concocts as plan to marry one of them. In no time he gets one of the three sisters to marry him. Unfortunately for him, his greed gets the better of him and he takes on the other two sisters as mistresses.
Come Have Coffee with Us was co-written and directed by Alberto Lattuada, who’s other notable films include Variety Lights (which he co-directed with Federico Fellini), The Overcoat, Mafioso and Stay as You Are. The screenplay for Come Have Coffee with Us was adapted from Piero Chiara’s novel titled ‘La Spartizione’.
Key collaborators on Come Have Coffee with Us include cinematographer Lamberto Caimi (Death Occurred Last Night, Gang War in Milan, The Teenage Prostitution Racket) and composer Fred Bongusto (Ring of Death, The Eroticist).
Though made during the first year of the 1970’s, content wise Come Have Coffee with Us is in direct contrast with the type of sexy comedies that would dominate Italian cinema throughout the 1970’s. Instead of centering the plot around voluptuous vixens that all the male characters lose their minds and libido’s over. The film takes a subversive detour that puts the focal point on three spinster sisters, who one would not mistaken for attractive women and puts the emphasis on one specific body part for each of the three women. Almost to suggest that if you take parts from each one them, then you would have a desirable woman.
Another area in which this film differs from those aforementioned sexually charged comedies, is that the protagonist of this film is a middle age man, who is not exactly a ladies’ man. And while the initial laughs are almost all derived from his attempts to woo these three sisters over, in hopes that one will many him. It is not until after he and his new bride return from their honeymoon, that the film finally hits its stride. Keeping up its relentless pace all the way to its appropriately ironic conclusion, which also happens to be this film’s most humorous moment.
And while many comedies are not exactly know for their visuals. This film does features many great visual moments that greatly enhance the comedy set pieces. Most notably the way in which the camera highlights each of the three sisters finer attributes. In fact there is even a moment that echoes the Mrs Robinson seduction sequence from The Graduate.
Performance wise, every cast member is delightful, especially Ugo Tognazzi (Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy, La cage aux folles) in the role of this film’s protagonist Emerenziano Paronzini a middle aged tax collector. Also watching his character get lost in excess (at one point he takes on all three sisters as lovers) makes sure that there is never a shortage of laughs. With the best laugh saved for last, when we get to see what his overzealous sexual appetite ends up leading to his demise.
Raro Presents Come Have Coffee with Us in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen that retains the films original aspect ratio. This is another strong transfer from Raro Video, that boasts accurate looking colors, healthy looking flesh tones, consistently good contrast and black levels, details look sharp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. The audio mix included with this release is also in very good shape as dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and the film’s score sounds robust throughout.
Extras for this release include a interview with Italian film historian Adriano Apra (12 minutes 15 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles), who contributes a lengthy essay about the film’s of Alberto Lattuada, that is included as part of the sixteen page collectible booklet that is included as part of this release. Other contents in this booklet include comments from film critics, who discuss Come Have Coffee with Us, a text bio and filmography for Alberto Lattuada. Though there is some overlap in the interview and essay with Adriano Apra, he serves up plenty of insightful analyses about Come Have Coffee with Us and the films of Alberto Lattuada. Also included with this release is slip cover that has different image, then the one used for the front cover art on the DVD. Overall Come Have Coffee with Us gets a solid DVD release from Raro Video.