Writer/director Marco Ferreri (Diary of a Maniac) brings a bizarre but strangely mesmerising experience, like rubber necking at an accident scene. It’s Definitely an with plenty of nudity and simulated sex. It will have a limited appeal, but the gluttony is the obsession of this film and at times you think you must look away, but it keeps you fixed on the screen.
Four friends who are successful men have all come to the same conclusion, they have had enough of life and they want to end it all. It is just the way they intend on achieving said gastronomic suicide.
Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni, Dark Eyes) a womanising airline pilot, Michel (Michel Piccoli, I’m Going Home) an effeminate TV executive, Ugo (Ugo Tognazzi, Weak Spot) a respected chef of many years and lastly Philippe (Philippe Noiret, Cinema Paradiso) an eminent judge, who lives in a Paris apartment along with his childhood wet-nurse Nicole (Michèle Alexandre, Big Sentiments Make for Good Sports) who stops Philippe from meeting any other women because of her own sexual attraction to the powerful man. Ugo is just trying to get away from his distrustful wife, and Michel is divorced with a grown daughter with whom he leaves his apartment keys.
The men all meet up and drive to Phillippe’s childhood villa which has been looked after by Philippe’s Fathers Chauffeur who has ordered all the raw ingredients for the feast, which is an impressive list. There are Wild Boars, Deer, suckling pigs, 10 dozen guinea fowl, 3 dozen cockerels, 1 dozen chickens, hindquarters of beef, ducks and many more. (Glad I didn’t have to pay for any of that never mind the truck load of vegetables).
Ugo has the main job of cooking, but they are all gastronomes so they all chip in. It is decided that they will get prostitutes in for the following day, but Philippe wants nothing to do with it, so three are arranged for tomorrow’s feast.
They are interrupted by a school group who wish to see the linden tree that French poet Mr Boileau used to sit under to find inspiration, which sits at the back of Philippe’s garden. The guys entertain, educate and feed the class and during the meal they invite the voluptuous Andréa (Andréa Ferreol, It Had to be You) their teacher, who eventually agrees. When she is told later that there will be ladies of the night attending, she brushes it off easily.
Now the feast starts in earnest with fabulous offerings of food, cake, pasta’s and pate and many many more dishes served up. When Andréa realises what the guys are trying to do she accepts it and an alliance is formed that she will stay to the end of their endeavours as whores come and go, she is a very accommodating woman. Apart from his womanising Marcello has another interest, restoring the classic Bugatti in the garage (beautiful piece of metal).
Well you have been warned, I was glued to my seat to see how this turned out, I wasn’t hungry at all by the time the film came to its end. Well acted and shot, but I wouldn’t want be any of the actors as the amount of food consumed would last me years, just the pate mountain and I like pate, jeez talk about suffering for your art. It did make me laugh out loud.
To sum up this film in short:
Friends, Food, Fornicating and Farts.