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This enchanting yet dark romantic comedy stars Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills as a pair of mismatched lovers helplessly drawn into a series of seemingly hopeless but humorous situations as in Lemmon's The Out-of -Towners two years earlier. Lemmon is Wendell Armbruster Jr., an overbearing American business tycoon forced to travel to the beautiful Italian island of Ischia to claim the body of his recently departed father. What begins with a rather elementary premise evolves into a succession of somber twists and turns, as Armbruster meets Pamela Piggott (Mills), the daughter of his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Marvellous performances from Lemmon and Mills."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Intermittently funny, charming, cute and, unfortunately, over-long."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"A delightful romantic comedy, Billy Wilder style, meaning that its romanticism is curdled and its comedy is amusingly dark."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A biting farce about an American in Italy, this gets great comic mileage out of Lemmon, Mills and the Mediterranean, but Wilder seems uncertain whether he's laughing with or at his protagonists."
‑ , Film4
"Avanti! isn't a laugh-a-minute kind of a movie, and it's too long by maybe half an hour."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"There is a lot of Billy Wilder in [Avanti!], including the idea that age is a state of mind. The film doesn't all work, [but] when the rigid Armbruster warms up on a sunny rock,... Wilder is telling us something that is more than just fun."
‑ Tony Macklin, Bright Lights Film Journal
"Weak Billy Wilder is worth a watch."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"It's not vintage Billy Wilder, but even lesser Wilder has wit to spare."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"This 1972 release is the most underrated of all Billy Wilder comedies and arguably the one that comes closest to the sweet mastery and lilting grace of his mentor, Ernst Lubitsch."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Wilder justifies this film's length (144 minutes) with its loving, carefree and even relaxing Italian vacation atmosphere."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It has many delightfully absurd moments in which Jack Lemmon and Brit actress Juliet Mills thoroughly exploit to the fullest."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Gentle and touching satirical drama with Lemmon on form but without much bite."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
More reviews for Avanti! on Rotten Tomatoes