Divorce, Italian Style

Ferdinando Cefalú (Marcello Mastroianni) is a model member of Sicily's good-for-nothing aristocracy: lazy and impossibly vain, he seems to spend most of his time skulking around his ancestors' decrepit villa in pajamas, eyebrows smugly arched, mouth pulled into a perpetual pout under a fussy mustache. (“I really am an intriguing type,” he muses before the mirror.) Cefalú's problem: he's disgusted by his wife's overbearing affections and smitten with a nymphet cousin. Divorce in Sicily is unthinkable, but the law is lenient in matters of honor; if Signora Cefalú were to take a lover, who could blame her husband for murder? Pietro Germi's farce skewers every stratum of Sicilian society: busybody matrons, plodding mafiosi, self-serving clergymen who denounce La dolce vita as “lascivious art,” and all the upstanding citizens who sprint straight from church to the movie theater.

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