Directed by Luigi Zampa, "Le dolci signore" (also known as "Anyone Can Play") is a 1967 Italian comedy that offers a lighthearted, yet poignant, exploration of romantic entanglements and societal expectations.
The film focuses on the escapades of four married women, played by Ursula Andress, Virna Lisi, Marisa Mell, and Claudie Lange, who decide to take on extramarital lovers. This premise might seem scandalous, but the screenplay, penned by Rodolfo Sonego, handles it with a delicate balance of humor and sincerity.
Each actress in the ensemble cast shines, imbuing their respective characters with distinct personalities. Their performances navigate the dichotomy between the glamorous, liberated women they wish to be and the confined, neglected wives they are. Their adventures allow them to discover new aspects of themselves, fostering growth and self-realization.
Virna Lisi, in particular, delivers a standout performance, blending charm and vulnerability to create a captivating character. Her chemistry with her on-screen lover, played by Gastone Moschin, is palpable, adding an additional layer of believability to the narrative.
Zampa's direction adeptly captures the complex emotional dynamics of the characters. He gives each of the women's stories equal weight, ensuring that their personal journeys feel relevant and compelling. The film also benefits from its stylish production design, which effectively transports the audience to late 60s Italy, and a playful score that sets a fittingly whimsical tone.
"Le dolci signore" is not without its criticisms. Some might find the depiction of infidelity superficial, and the movie occasionally veers into farcical territory. However, beneath its light exterior, the film offers a commentary on the societal constraints placed on women and the lengths they might go to find happiness.
In conclusion, "Le dolci signore" is a charming, if somewhat dated, comedy that provides an intriguing glimpse into the lives of women navigating romance, marriage, and societal expectations in 1960s Italy.