Video Review: 'Stealing Beauty'
Director Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor, Little Buddha) with Stealing Beauty tries his hand at a sex romp with embarrassing results. American ingenue Lucy (the luscious Tyler) arrives at a villa in Tuscany to read her dead mother’s poetry and, at 19, to relieve herself of her virginity. The old men (including Irons as a dying writer and Donal McCann as a smarmy sculptor) pant and heave in Lucy’s presence; the young Italian dudes make puppy eyes at her; the older women make virgin jokes. Imagine an Agatha Christie mystery with a crotch obsession and you’ll picture this cast of characters. With its summery landscapes lost on video and no performances of note, Beauty tries hard to evoke Italian languor, lust, and love. But all the once-great Bertolucci can muster is this absurdly epic deflowering tale that’s as sexy as spaghetti and cheap wine. D-