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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, 1963

Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni star in three different stories about three very different couples: a poor couple trying to stay out of legal trouble, a wealthy woman and a man she is considering making her lover, and a high-class sex worker who gets her favorite client to help with a young priest next door who is having a crisis.

This is one of those easy-breezy movies that largely coasts on the charisma of its leads and a fun integration of its setting into its story.

The first story was a mixed bag for me--the kind of thing where an element of the narrative just doesn't sit right. Loren plays a woman, Adelina, who has a warrant out for her arrest after failing to pay a fine. Taking advantage of an Italian law that a woman cannot be imprisoned if she is pregnant or 6 months out of giving birth. Adelina takes advantage of this law by getting pregnant again and again. And again. And again. Things turn serious when her exhausted husband cannot seem to get her pregnant for an eighth time and she must consider infidelity in order to stay free.

I mean . . . sigh. Sometimes you feel like a killjoy criticizing what is meant to be an absurd premise in a bit of fluff, but there's something about people having multiple children just to take advantage of a technicality that feels wrong and off-putting. The family is poor to begin with, as only Adelina works, and I just couldn't ever have fun with the idea literally bringing lives into a vulnerable living situation just to use a legal loophole. There are some fun touches in terms of the way that the community supports the couple (including a great opening sequence where they help the couple hide their furniture so it will not be repossessed).

The second story is the shortest and is pretty funny. Loren this time plays a rich woman who cares more about her looks and her car than other people. Mastroianni is very funny as her lover who comes to realize in the course of their drive just how shallow and horrible she is. It all begins with a gag that every time she comes to a stoplight she rear-ends the car in front of her. But it then escalates to the point where she is unconcerned about avoiding hitting a child.

The third story is good, as Loren's sex worker tries to steer the infatuated young man back to his life in the seminary. If you google the title of this film, you will see what I'm sure many people consider the highlight of this story, namely a striptease Loren's character does to thank her client for helping get the young priest back on track. Unfortunately for that client, she swore to be celibate for a week if she succeeded, so . . .

Overall a fun little film. I probably enjoyed the second story the best.