Original title: Avere vent'anni
Director: Fernando Di Leo
Starring: Gloria Guida, Lilli Carati
To Be Twenty is an entertaining slice of '70s eurotrash from Italy - 95% hippie sex farce and 5% brutal horror - an interesting mix to say the least. The farce centers on two hot and horny young women and the unlikely scenario that they are having trouble getting laid.
Tina (Lilli Carati) and Lia (Miss Teen Italy, Gloria Guida) meet at the beach while hanging with a bunch of friends. There's no beating about the untrimmed bush here - full-frontal nudity within the first 24 seconds quickly sets the tone. Tina explains that she's young, hot and pissed off. Lia says she is too. They become instant friends.
They decide to hitch-hike together to Rome where Lia knows a commune they can join. Unfortunately they forgot their underwear, so no-one wants to risk picking them up.
Tina hits on the novel idea of waving her ass instead of her thumb, and soon they catch a ride from a friendly trucker. Because they're wearing no underwear he makes them ride in back, no doubt to preserve the upholstery.
Without further ado the girls arrive in Rome. They've got no money - but they're young, hot and pissed off - so they go shoplifting for food. There's no end to what these girls are capable of. With lunch taken care of, next on the agenda is cigarettes and they've hatched a cunning plan for that too ...
Tina: "A blowjob for a packet of marlboro's"
Store Owner: "Did you say 'Marlboro's?"
Tina: "I said 'Blowjob'"
Store owner: "No, thank you."
With food, caffeine and nicotine requirements taken care of, all that's left to do is find the commune and get laid. Finding the commune is not hard as its well known to be full of queers, whores and druggies, at least according to the neighbourhood crone they ask for directions.
As soon as they arrive Tina notices a guy who's just her type, unfortunately he's in an acid stupor which explains why his t-shirt has his name and address printed on it. Forward-planning is essential for any psychedelic drug experience.
The commune owner, Nazariota is happy to let them stay except he's running low on funds so they'll have to pay rent. This is a real bummer for the ladies as they have no money, so he suggests they work for their lodging instead. There are many ways to help out at the commune, but the job best suited to them he thinks is 'communication', which is Italian for having sex with everyone. That's cool with Lia as long as the guys are clean, so the owner promises they'll wash their balls in the sink first. Wow, talk about going the extra mile.
With their accommodation sorted, Tina's mind returns to the itch between her legs and she changes into something more revealing. Wandering through the commune in search of sex she soon finds a room full of guys, and issues the ultimate rhetorical question, 'Does anyone want to screw me?". Seems the guys have been hitting the bong all day long however, and are too stoned to emerge from their torpor. Now that's some powerful anti-drug propaganda right there.
Tina wanders outside and tries her luck again with the stupefied tripping dude. Despite being in Disneyland, a kiss is not enough to wake this sleeping beauty, so she tries her hand at cardio-penile resuscitation instead. No response is forthcoming and she is frustrated yet again.
In the meantime, Nazariota has sold the women for sex to help pay the bills, which the girls eagerly agree to. Quickly they get naked and a group sex session ensues. The meditating mime dude that shares their room seems remarkably disinterested by proceedings. Unfortunately the guys are only after a quickie and are in and out before our poor girls are fulfilled. Not to worry, Lia suggests that they try each other instead. Genius.
After a few minutes of softcore caressing which stands as a visual metaphor for the hot lesbian sex we don't get to see, the girls are once again pressed into work mode. This time selling encyclopedias. Tina's sales technique includes visually demonstrating the encyclopedia's entry for 'self-gratification'.
Tina's made some good money on account of her inspired sales methods, but Lia is disillusioned with it all. Which ultimately doesn't matter, because that night the commune is raided by corrupt police and the girls are deported from the city for being potential terrorists.
At this point in the movie we've been having a sleazy good-time that's everything you'd expect from a 70's euro-trash sex comedy. Then suddenly the movie takes an abrupt turn for an unforgettable final scene which I won't spoil here, except to say its brutal, extreme and a complete departure from the rest of the film. Its totally over the top, and jaded lovers of exploitation cinema will lap it up. Needless to say, the non-jaded will likely be shocked, disgusted and sickened. You have been warned.
In summary, I can't say that the acting was anything great. The cinematography was nothing special and the soundtrack was some godawful disco-lounge shit. However, I did quite enjoy this movie. Why? Well for a start, the two lead actresses were smoking hot, and that always helps. But also because its the kind of movie that could only have come from a specific time and place, they sure don't make 'em like this any more.
Video - opening sequence (Italian, no subs)
Where to buy