Stay as You Are
|Stay as You Are|
US theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alberto Lattuada|
|Produced by||Giovanni Bertolucci|
|Screenplay by||Alberto Lattuada
|Story by||Enrico Oldoini
Barbara De Rossi
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Cinematography||José Luis Alcaine|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema (United States)
Columbia Pictures (Internationally)
Stay as You Are (Italian: Così come sei), also known as Stay the Way You Are, is a 1978 Italian-Spanish romantic erotic drama film, directed by Alberto Lattuada, starring Nastassja Kinski, Marcello Mastroianni, Barbara De Rossi and Ania Pieroni. It follows a May–December romance between an old working man and a young girl he meets.
While away on a business trip in Florence, middle-aged Roman architect Giulio Marengo meets a beautiful teenager and falls in love with her. The girl's name is Francesca and she is a student that was taken in by a farmer after her mother, Fosca, died. Lorenzo, a friend of Giulio's learns of his relationship with Franscesca and begins to suspect that she may be his daughter. In fact, according to various gossip, the architect had been the lover of Fosca about a year before the birth of Francesca, and therefore could be her biological father. Shocked by the news, Giulio tries to avoid Francesca in every way, moreover distracted by the fact that his daughter Ilaria is expecting a baby.
Giulio struggles to deepen the mystery of his alleged paternity of Francesca and eventually explains to her the reason behind his reluctant behavior. However, the exuberant sensuality of Francesca takes over, putting aside all scruples of mature lover and perhaps father, and the she convinces him to take her on holiday in Madrid, where they live for a period of reckless passion and love. After returning to Florence, Giulio reveals that he must go back to Rome in the next day to attend to his business ventures. That night, they go see Vampyr at a theatre and Giulio falls asleep. Upon waking up, Franscesca is nowhere to be see, indicating that their love affair has run its course.
- Marcello Mastroianni as Giulio Marengo
- Nastassja Kinski as Francesca
- Francisco Rabal as Lorenzo
- Mónica Randall as Luisa Marengo
- Ania Pieroni as Cecilia
- Barbara De Rossi as Ilaria Marengo
- José María Caffarel as Bartolo
- Giuliana Calandra as Teresa
- Maria Pia Attanasio as Countess Archi
- Raimondo Penne as Notary
- Claudio Aliotti
- Massimo Bonetti as Horse Trainer
- Mario Cecchi as The Gardener
- Adriana Falco as Giulio's secretary
- Rodolfo Bigotti
The musical score was composed by Ennio Morricone, who previously collaborated with director Alberto Lattuada on Matchless. A soundtrack album was released in 1978 by Cinevox, and again on 14 July 1995 by Prometheus Records. The soundtrack is notable for its inclusion of the love theme "Amore per Amore", as well as the two disco tracks "Dance On" and "Spazio 1999".
This film received positive reviews, especially for Nastassja Kinski's performance. According to the US poster of this film, Bruce Williamson of Playboy called it "A truly sexy film". Time magazine also praised Kinski's performance saying, "Kinski is simply ravishing, genuinely sexy and high-spirited without being painfully aggressive about it." Conversely, Janet Maslin of The New York Times called the film "dangerously smarmy at times — dangerous because its cheapness undermines Mr. Mastroianni's essentially serious performance, which is the backbone of the movie. The film works best when the story seems to generate its sexual encounters spontaneously. But there are too many times when the plot looks like a pretext for stringing together amorous interludes."
Because Kinski was just 18-years-old at the time, her many nude scenes created controversy. She has since disapproved of her nudity in the film on a number of occasions. Recalling the film in a 1981 interview with People, Kinski said, "There was no one prepared to say, 'She shouldn't do that. There is no point.' No one to protect me. I was just a young girl, in Italy. It was stupid." In 2001, Kinski reiterated her dissatisfaction with her performance: "Let's put it this way, if that was my daughter, I wouldn't allow that. I wouldn't allow certain people to say certain things or to try certain things."
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