Retro Film Report #48: Sessomatto (1973)

Sessomatto (AKA How Funny Can Sex Be?) is a hilarious (albeit tasteless) Italian sex comedy in nine parts. No real nudity to speak of; however, the content of the stories are pretty risque. The reason to watch is the two actors who star in all nine parts: Giancarlo Giannini, obviously a comic genius, and Laura Antonelli who is a stone cold fox, and pretty funny as well.

Now, I don't speak Italian, so I was definitely at a disadvantage for picking up humor that I'm sure got lost in translation.  Even so, I found it extremely enjoyable and laugh-out-loud funny at times.  Sure, it wanders into bad taste, but it's still an interesting and different sort of comedy than what's delivered on the big screen these days. And I'm all for trying something different.  So, let's have a look at the nine acts....

1. "Madam, It's Eight O'clock"

Laura plays the wife of a fat rich guy, and Giancarlo is her butler.  The comedy comes from his obvious attraction to her, but he has to remain stoic.  The "plot" here is that Laura needs to be woken up in the morning, and poor Giancarlo can't get her ass up to save his life.

It's really becoming a problem, and is negatively affecting his job.  She's a heavy sleeper, and the poor guy is at a loss.

The next time she needs to be woken up, Giancarlo can't control his loins and mounts the sleeping Laura.   Like I said, the content of this film is pretty vulgar.  But, it's all played for laughs.

(Note that, by summarizing each of these stories, I'm ruining thepunch lines.  Keep this in mind, if you plan on watching Sessomatto.)

Miracle of miracles, the humping actually wakes the sleeping Laura (but she is unaware of what took place).

The punchline: Laura later tells Giancarlo that she's going to take a nap... and that he needs to wake her at 11:00.  Giancarlo goes nuts and walks slowly into the pool, fully dressed.  (Insert laugh track)

2. "Two Hearts and a Hut"
I didn't get this one.  Skip it.  Not too worry - there's only one other that needs skipping.

3. "It's Never Too Late"

Giancarlo plays a nerdy businessman.  He has a smoking hot secretary, but pays her no mind. Instead, he makes random phone calls to old ladies to get his rocks off.

Laura is underused in this story as his neglected wife.  The rest of the tale follows Giancarlo stalking an older lady.  The elderly woman thinks Giancarlo is really after her sexy maid; however, she disturbingly finds out (spoiler) he's after the elderly woman's mother!  Gross.

4. "Honeymoon"

This may be my favorite...

Giancarlo and Laura are newlyweds on their honeymoon.  Giancarlo is about as horny as a man can be without his penis exploding.   On the train to Venice, he can't keep his grubby hands off of her, even in public, even among the clergy.

The gondola ride was supposed to be romantic.  Instead, Giancarlo is too busy ravaging his new bride to take in any of the scenery.

Unfortunately, when they finally get to the hotel room, Giancarlo can't get it up.  It makes no sense - he's more aroused than a human has a right to be, but can't perform.  It's a bitter irony.

Laura, however, is able to figure out the mystery of Giancarlo's underperforming unit.  He's aroused on the train, on the gondola, and stories of affairs on boats, etc.... Giancarlo has to be in motion!

The ending is a happy one.  Suffice it to say, it involves an elevator.

5. "Come Back My Little One"

Laura is the prostitute (far left) and Giancarlo is an extremely homely john who's searching for a redhead... for a very specific reason.

When Laura comes home with him, she finds he has a rubber doll in the likeness of his ex-wife (see image at the top of this post). Giancarlo has her dress-up just like the ex and role play to act just like her.

None of this is particularly funny.  Oddly enough, it's a bit touching and sad.  I wonder if some of these acts would have been better suited as full length movies where the characters and interesting relationships could be developed. Just a thought.

6. "Italian Worker Abroad"

This is a strange one as it's supposed to take place in a Scandinavian country and it's all done in a fake Swedish-sounding tongue.  So, no subtitles.

Giancarlo is an uptight family man who comes to the hospital as a semen donor.  He's directed to his private room by Laura in a nun habit.

Giancarlo, in an effort to get in the right mindset to provide his sample, fantasizes about the the nun.  I would be remiss not to at least provide a few of Giancarlo's fantasies featuring Laura as a sexy nun.  Pretty amazing.

Holy crap.  I think Giancarlo's expression at the end of it all sums it up best.

7. "The Revenge"

Laura is a grieving widow.  Her husband has been killed by the mob, and the scene takes place at his funeral.  The mob boss, Don Alvaro, responsible for the murder pays his respects.

You would think Giancarlo would play the role of Alvaro.  Instead he plays the dead husband (?)

Right in front of the casket, Alvaro makes the moves on the grieving widow.  She tells him 'not now - tomorrow'.

So, the next day Alvaro takes Laura to his palatial villa...

There, Laura enacts her own brand of revenge by literally wearing this poor mob boss out.  I guess if you've got to go, this way isn't too bad.

8. "A Difficult Love"
Skip this one.  It's  an overlong skit about transvestism and not the least bit humorous.

9. "The Guest"

Giancarlo plays an Urkel level nerd statistician who is invited into the home of a successful businessman and his hot wife, Laura.  The running gag here is that Laura is continually seducing the nerdy Giancarlo, while her husband blathers on endlessly, seemingly oblivious. There is some genuinely funny scenes revolving around this gag.

He spills something on his lap, Laura is all too quick to mop up the stain.  She asks him to lift her up to reach a low hanging peach, and things get awkward.  Giancarlo plays this a lot like Peter Sellers in The Party - nervous, awkward and socially inept.

Where does this all lead?  I'll let you watch and find out.

I'll finish by saying Giancarlo blew my mind - even in a different language he was hilarious in nearly every role he played.  I'll definitely be looking for movies with him in it.  And, Laura - what can be said?  Easily one of the hottest gals I've ever seen in a film - and at the same time, extremely funny.

Yes, Sessomatto has its low points with a couple throwaway stories, and it wallows in the gutter sometimes.  But Giancarlo and Laura make this well worth watching. Gilligan recommends.


  1. Laura Antonelli R.I.P. A great beauty AND a great actress - in comedy or drama.

  2. I know this by the theme song, which has been beaten to death by trip-hoppy DJs.