Skip to content


I guess I just like liking things

The DVD case is promising me a wacky comedy of a love triangle with plenty of hilarious japes. IMDB is promising me sadness. Quite a lot of sadness. I was heartened to see it has one award nomination, until I saw it was a Razzie award nomination.

This must be one of the earlier DVDs because there’s a long clip from the movie before a cheerful sounding man explains to me the functions of the DVD menu, how to select an item from the menu and how to get back to the menu. Aw, new technology is pretty cute. I select “Feature Film” and am confused to see Marilyn Monroe, who as far as I know is not in this movie. The camera pans slowly along a huge collection of Carol Alt photographs, and there’s arguing in the background, over the top of Marilyn singing. She’s singing “Bye, Bye Baby.” I see what they did there.

Carol and her man are having a full on argument, throwing things and screaming at each other. There’s a shot of a stack of VHS tapes with foreign names to establish we’re probably not in America. The chap Carol is screaming at has an accent too, but I can’t place it yet. The fight is a long one, intercut with shots of the TV playing the Marilyn movie. Carol’s man accuses of her going to the hospital to have sex with people and she throws him out. He staggers out into the street carrying piles of bags but doesn’t have his car keys. He buzzes into the apartment to ask Carol for the keys, but she’s in a pretty bad mood and ignores him. He gets a taxi.

Carol is being a doctor, cutting the jeans off a leg which is all covered in blood. The cause of the argument was her chap telling her they were going to move to “The Mauritius.” Maybe they could take a holiday in The France first. The other doctor, who may be Australian, swabs the fake blood off the patient while the patient writhes around like someone is poking him in the foot with a stick. Carol is still talking about her useless husband and how hard done by she is. Seems a little unprofessional in front of a patient.

“Paolo has gotta realise that I matter too,” says Carol with the warmth and conviction of a Barbie Doll. Over lunch, she and the doctor who I think could be British now, discuss their love lives. Outside the window there’s a couple having a massive argument, must be something in the water. Neither Carol or the doctor are good at delivering lines, and Carol is attempting to smoke a cigarette. It’s not easy to look natural with a cigarette if you’re not a smoker, and Carol proves this by being really really bad at it.

Carol and the doctor are having a lovely fun jolly time as he drives her home in the rain. When they get to the apartment, she looks up at the window and remembers she’s all alone now. She invites the doctor up, and he looks around at all the broken crap on the floor. Carol is about to have a shower when the phone rings. It sounds like someone sitting in the corner making “brrrring” noises with their mouth. Maybe it is. They ignore it, and the doctor goes off to make coffee.

While Carol is showering in a completely unconvincing way (Pro tip, if you just stand under the water dead still it’s not really effective. Try soap!) when a second phone rings. This one has a proper sound effect. The doctor answers it, and it’s Paolo who is not surprised there’s another man in Carol’s flat already. Paolo wants his keys.

The doctor takes the keys around and finds Paolo in bed with some random woman. The doctor, as it turns out, is named Marcello which doesn’t match his accent at all. I suspect it’s a case of “any foreign accent will do.” Paolo sends the random woman away and the two men chat about Carol. I don’t follow it because it doesn’t make a lot of sense and the scriptwriter may have been drunk. Anyway, short version is Marcello wanted Carol all the time but Paolo had her and now he doesn’t and so on with that.

Paolo is watching a horse gallop on a track in the company of a small British man and a man who has been very obviously dubbed in post-production. Paolo is planning to buy the stables, even though he knows nothing about horses. Or stables. Or racing. Guy with Dub knows Carol and Paolo wants to know how she is. Guy with Dub directs Paolo to some other woman.

Paolo goes to the other woman who is married to the guy with the dubbing problem and they have sex. While they’re having sex, the woman tells Paolo all the horrible things Carol said about him. As turn-ons go, it’s a weird one.

You can't see the bedazzled back. Trust me, it's there

You can’t see the bedazzled back. Trust me, it’s there

Now Paolo is in a bar, watching Brigitte Neilson play pool in a screamingly 1980s dress. She’s the only woman playing pool and might be the only woman in the bar, so of course there’s a crowd of men all standing around staring at her and dribbling slightly. She chalks the pool cue slowly. It’s supposed to be seductive. It isn’t. She spots Paolo and smiles at him a lot. This is a long scene of pool chalk, smiles and rhinestones. It’s basically the 80s distilled (yes even the pool chalk). Brigitte stops playing and stalks up to Paolo to plant a kiss on his lips. Oh, she thinks he’s someone else. Instead of saying “Oh, you think I’m someone else!” Paolo says “Yes sure I am whoever it is you think I am” and does some lies. She figures it out pretty fast and everyone has a laugh.

Back at Brigitte’s apartment, she’s explaining how she got so good at pool while being not great at pool. They’re talking about why she moved “here” but I’m not sure yet were “here” is. The range of accents, the lack of outdoor shots… I’m lost. Brigitte was going to get married two years ago but didn’t for reasons that are unclear.

Paolo wants to learn how to shoot pool, so Brigitte bends him over the table and shows him with a lot more grabby hands than I would have expected. Brigitte tells him the table she owns belonged to Catherine the Great. Then they have sex on the table. The next morning they’re chatting in bed when the picture goes all VHS fuzzy. Remember that? Random lines and jumps? The nostalgia distracts me nicely from the mumbling of terrible lines for a moment. They’re talking about Paolo’s money but I can’t catch most of it and I’m not going to rewind and listen again. No. You can’t make me.

Carol is on a street corner arguing with the woman Paolo had sex with before. There’s a thumping 80s ballad playing as she cries and stomps her little feet. The ballad swells emotionally as Carol storms down the hallway in the hospital. She finds Marcello and shows him a letter which a lawyer sent her. Paolo wants an official separation. She’s sad and angry, even though they are miserable together. Also she’s hurt that Paolo has moved on and is seeing Brigitte. She’s so irate she almost breaks out some actual acting. While she’s ranting and raving she’s also undressing to put her white coat on. This coat doesn’t fit over a blouse, so she’s down to her bra when the doctor tries to kiss her. She pulls away and slaps him, but then another ballad starts up so she reconsiders and they kiss. Well they press their mouths together.

Outside the courtroom, Carol is holding another cigarette she doesn’t know how to hold as Paolo wanders past with his lawyer. In the courtroom, we are spared any stilted dialogue because the song is still playing. It’s all just sad looks and shrugs. I’m okay with this. As they leave, it’s raining and Paolo has a tiny umbrella. Carol walks down the stairs and they look at each other for a while before she disappears into the rain. Considering they’ve both grabbed another person in the week since they broke up, they do seem to be lingering.

There’s a slow pan around the city, and a caption pops up to say it’s one year later, and raining again (in case you thought the rainstorm lasted the entire year). Carol’s car won’t start, so she’s all stompy and cross. She climbs out of the car and waves at the traffic until someone stops. Oh look, it’s Paolo and he’s got himself a ridiculous mustache. “You look different” says Carol and Paolo does bad movie driving (whipping the steering wheel around like a stunt driver). It takes her a minute, but she notices the ‘stash. They’ve both stuck with their new partner for the whole year, well done them.

Paolo has to slam on the brakes, and he throws an arm across Carol to keep her safe. She grabs his hand and rubs her face all over it. They kiss passionately while the traffic backs up behind them. I hate inconsiderate road users. It’s okay though because the road is suddenly three lanes wide and everyone can drive around them.

At Brigitte’s place, she’s playing pool with some guy who wears a flat cap and talks about how he lost all his money in some pool game a million years ago. He might also be dubbed, but more skillfully. Paolo has taken a shower and shaved off his ‘stache because Carol doesn’t like men with mustaches. She introduces the guy in the flat cap as the past pool champion of Milan, which explains his New York accent not at all.

Marcello the doctor is sick on the sofa and Carol is checking him over. The phone rings and Marcello answers it. It’s a Roberto, but I’m betting it’s Paolo really. “Oh yes, I have your results,” says Carol, pretending it’s a patient and looking guilty. She walks to the open hallway to talk to Paolo, even though Marcello is right there. Of course, Paolo is only a pool table away from Brigitte, so neither of them are very good at affairs. Paolo tells her to meet him in the morning and hangs up. “Paolo!” says Carol really loudly, in case Marcello hadn’t heard the rest of the conversation.

The next morning, Paolo waits for Carol outside some cafe or something while she sits in her car and stares at him from the other side of the road. She’s a woman torn is what she is. After some thought, she drives around to pick Paolo up. They go back to his place for sex and then we see them snuggled up in bed laughing like loons.

I should point out that 90% of the time I don’t know what Paolo is saying because for whatever reason his dialogue is at a lower volume. I should probably try and fix the sound levels, but it’s too late now nevermind. Carol and Paolo go back out to Carol’s car so she can drive off home. Paolo wants Carol to break up with Marcello because he is going to break up with Brigitte. Carol isn’t sure. She drives off, leaving Paolo at home. His car is in the city, by the way.

Paolo is getting dressed after a shower and Brigitte wanders in. “I need to tell you something,” says Paolo, but she kisses him so they have sex instead. The same thing appears to have happened to Carol, as Marcello is all naked and leaning over her asking what she wanted to talk about.

Paolo turns up at the hospital and Carol is all “Oh no you did not.” They have a big argument again because neither of them have told their partner they’re leaving and Carol shows how she can make sipping a drink look unconvincing. They go into the elevator and argue some more in front of a bunch of people. They appear to have broken up again, in front of a huge crowd of people who are milling around in a hallway for no reason.

Marcello and Carol have gone to The Mauritius for a holiday, which includes water skiing, horse riding and badly acted kissing. Carol sneaks over to the bar to ring Paolo but he doesn’t answer because he’s followed her anyway and is standing behind her.

At sunset on the beach, Carol and Marcello are playing tag. He catches her and throws her into the water where they splosh about a bit and laugh. Out in the deeper water, Brigitte is standing up and throwing her head back. Her hair is too short to make that water arc effect, but good on her for having a go. Carol and Marcello stare at her like she’s a real live mermaid. Paolo runs into the water to kiss Brigitte. Carol looks hurt and upset. Marcello looks like he’s trying to remember his lines.

Next thing, they’re all sitting around a campfire having cozy chats. Brigitte goes back out for another swim and Marcello joins her. Carol and Paolo stay behind and watch the other two head out to the water. Brigitte, who could swim like a dolphin before, is apparently now unable to wade in the shallows and needs Marcello’s strong arm to lean on. Paolo is planning to pair off Brigitte and Marcello so he can go off with Carol even though he and Carol can’t go 24 hours without having a screaming match.

You're pretty much seduced right now

You’re pretty much seduced right now

They’re all out on a boat, and Paolo is plotting his plots. Carol and Marcello swim off and Brigitte is pleased to have some alone time with Paolo. “I think Marcello is attracted to you,” says Paolo, “Most men are,” says Brigitte. It’s not going well for Paolo. What’s a guy gotta do other than just explain he wants to break up?

The men have swum to the beach, and Paolo is trying to seed his plan with Marcello. “You’re trying to take Lisa away from me too!” says Paolo (hopefully). “She’s very attractive but I don’t find her attractive,” says Marcello (confusingly). “If you fall in love it’s okay,” says Paolo. He’s really bad at this. Marcello asks if Paolo wants to console Carol, and Paolo says yes he could do that. Marcello punches him. They brawl in the shallows.

Paolo orders two cocktails at the resort and no one is fighting anymore so I guess that blew over. Anyway, Paolo grabs two cocktails and adds some powdery stuff to them. He gives one to Marcello and one to Brigitte, but Marcello gives his to Carol. Oh no! Carol is about to sip when Paolo stops her by telling her there’s pepper in it.

Paolo and Carol are hauling the other two back to their rooms because the powder has knocked them out. They dump them on some chairs and Carol checks them over because she’s a doctor. Meanwhile, Paolo grabs their bags because he and Carol are leaving now. Carol realises Paolo spiked the drinks and they have another blazing argument. Paolo’s pretty sure that if Brigitte and Marcello wake up together they’ll have sex.

Paolo and Carol get on a plane and Paolo falls asleep as soon as he sits down. Carol is annoyed, so she gets off the plane. The plane is moving for take off when Paolo is woken by the hostess and he looks out the window to see Carol walking off into the distance on the tarmac because security at this airport is all kinds of terrible.

Another shot of the city at night, and a caption comes up to say it’s now two years later. Carol is crossing the road (in the rain which happens a lot) and is being watched by someone from another car. It’s Paolo and he climbs into her car as soon as she gets in. She’s not annoyed to see him. Also his hair is very dry for a man without an umbrella. Paolo is single now, but Carol is still with Marcello. She’s going to marry him, and Paolo is hurt and upset. He tries to kiss Carol but she pushes him away. He mentions a headache, then gets out of the car.Carol watches him walk away and might be crying or might be about to sneeze.

Paolo totally lied about being single, he’s still with Brigitte. The Dubbed Guy and his wife are there, playing pool. Dubbed Guy insists that Paolo see a lawyer (don’t know why don’t care) and Paolo has a tantrum because he’s all anguished.

The wedding goes ahead under the same song the divorce went on under. Carol and Marcello both look completely miserable about the whole situation. Just as the rings are brought out, Carol breaks down and runs off. Marcello almost has an emotion.

A bunch of people are playing pool with Brigitte again at her house. Brigitte loses because she’s all emotionally tangled up. She’s playing for money and goes double or nothing before calling Paolo for an emotional pick me up. He tells her she’ll win and that he loves her then goes to answer the door. Oh it’s Carol, surprise! The door opens to a burst of 80s ballad synth. That, ladies and gents, is romance.

Brigitte is trying to call Paolo from her car phone, but his phone is off the hook while he and Carol have some more sex. Brigitte has won a lot of money and has come over to Paolo’s house to tell him. She finds Paolo and Carol in bed and looks not so much heartbroken and mildly annoyed.

Paolo drops Carol off at her apartment and refuses to come inside. Carol realises there’s another woman. He lies again and says he just wants to take it slowly this time. He goes to see Brigitte, but she’s not talking to him. Paolo prattles on a bit about pool and traffic making him late, then he sees his stuff is packed. “You’re leaving,” says Brigitte.

At least she's figured out which end goes in the mouth

At least she’s figured out which end goes in the mouth

Carol, holding another cigarette badly, answers the phone to Brigitte. “It’s over between me and Paolo” says Brigitte. Of course Carol thought it already was over so there’s a thing. Paolo lets himself into the hallway with all his bags. Although he has his own apartment so I don’t know where all those bags came from.

“I miss this house,” says Paolo. Carol is sulking on the sofa but Paolo doesn’t notice. He says he decided not to take it slowly but to jump right in. Carol is furious. He doesn’t notice. “What about Brigitte?” says Carol. Paolo rambles on for what feels like an hour about how he broke up with her a week ago. Carol is over it, and confronts him, telling him to get out. She runs to the bedroom for a cry while Paolo storms around shouting. He starts with how women choose when to have the babies, and moves on to how a woman in the street is a woman. How amazing women are. It’s manipulative, but she listens between sobs. Eventually, Paolo leaves.

As he’s crossing the road with all his bags, he is run over by a slow moving car. He’s okay, just a bit muddy. Carol stands on the steps while Paolo insists he doesn’t need to go to the hospital and she’s all overcome with love and affection for him. Once the car is gone, they gaze at each other for ages, and then it starts to rain. Carol, all warm and fluffy, invites Paulo back into the apartment. “No,” he says, “Bye baby, I’ll call you.” He loads his car up and drives off into the rain while Carol stands on the step weeping. Credits.

Another comedy without any comedy, they’re piling up. The performances at least were uniformly terrible so no one gets bragging rights for being the best in the movie. Brigitte Nielsen won the film’s only award nomination – the aforementioned Razzie (for worst actress) but it really could have gone to anyone in this.

So, the characters. Tedious, all of them. Carol was shrill and screamy, Paulo was a complete sleaze the entire time, Marcello wasn’t even a character really, just a guy who was in some scenes and not in others. Brigitte was little more than a woman in tight clothes or small bikinis. I didn’t like any of them, and Paulo and Carol were the least likable of the bunch which is a shame as they are the mains so you have to spend a lot of time with them.

Where was it set? Still not sure. Paulo may have mentioned but I couldn’t hear him most of the time. The soundtrack was limited to three songs, one of which played about 900 times.  The city scenes were European, that’s all I can tell you.  Milan maybe, going by the New York Pool Champ.

What I don’t understand is why two people who cannot be in the same room together for longer than an hour without throwing things at each other want to get back together. There wasn’t a single time they were together than didn’t end with Carol screaming and throwing stuff, but she’s all in love and stupid with it. Frustratingly stupid. I mean, Marcello was a vacuum but at least he wasn’t a sleaze.

The whole plot (such as it is) revolves around two people who aren’t emotionally mature enough to break up with people. This is very, very annoying and does nothing to endear the movie or the characters to anyone.  I want to say more about it, so you really understand what it’s like but all I can come out with is: Buh.

Watching this movie feels like being punished for something I didn’t even know I did. Past life me must have been terrible.


Written by: