Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Turkey/Greece, 1963. Birsel Film, Finos Film, Th. Damaskinos & V. Michaelides. Screenplay by Alekos Sakellarios. Cinematography by Aristeidis Karydis-Fuchs. Produced by Klearhos Konitsiotis. Music by Manos Hatzidakis. Production Design by Petros Kapouralis. Costume Design by Maria Savvaidou. Film Editing by Aristeidis Karydis-Fuchs.
Greece’s most delicious export since baklava stars in this comedy about how marriage interrupts high school happiness. Senior student Aliki Vougiouklaki decides one day to fake sick in order to stay away from classes; when doctor Dimitris Papamichael shows up and announces to her that the jig is up, she uses her charms to convince him to go along with her anyway. Next thing you know, the two are in love and married, despite a vast age difference (mostly achieved by powdering Papamichael’s hair white; in reality they were exactly the same age and two years away from their own marriage). Now a wealthy housewife, Vougiouklaki can’t parade around with her girlfriends as she used to, and it doesn’t take many boring cocktail parties to convince her that she would like to return to the world of youth. When her best friend enrols in a new high school for their final year, our smooth-talking heroine decides to join her under her maiden name, telling her husband that she spends her days shopping when really she’s joining the girls in their classroom antics. When Papamichael discovers that she’s been lying, his mind inevitably jumps to the logical conclusion: infidelity. Director Alekos Sakellarios always had a gift for making formulaic comedies with predictable outcomes that somehow carried the viewer through their formality with exceptional ease. Acknowledging the audience’s awareness of the pattern, Sakellarios wisely concentrates all the energy on the spirited performances, in this case using some of the best talent that Greece’s theatre world had to offer, and in particular on the female star’s ability to deliver rapid-fire dialogue with wonderful style. The songs don’t quite fit in as well as they often do in the Aliki-Dimitri movies, but many of them have since become big hits in Greece and will be welcome to the ears of those who know them. Simultaneously filmed in Greek and Turkish with two different casts.