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  Romance With a Double Bass
Year: 1974
Director: Robert Young
Stars: John Cleese, Connie Booth, Graham Crowden, Freddie Jones, Andrew Sachs, June Whitfield
Genre: Comedy, Romance, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Based on Chekhov's short story "Roman's Kontrabasom", this comedy short tells the tale of Smychkov (John Cleese), a musician hired to play double bass at the wedding of Count Alexei (Graham Crowden) to his reluctant bride, the Princess Constanza (Connie Booth). Arriving early on a hot day, Smychkov strolls the grounds, and chooses to take a dip in the lake. Unbeknownst to him, the Princess is also in the lake, looking to retrieve a valuable fishing float.

When their clothes are stolen, both are left naked and in some dilemma. After meeting, they realise that only by working together can they get across the grounds and into the castle without creating the massive scene both fear. It's a good job Smychkov didn't play the triangle...

Romance With A Double Bass is a lovely little film, one of Cleese's first performances after he opted out of Monty Python's fourth season. He and then-wife Booth deliver great performances, scattered with typical Cleese lunacy here and there amid an increasingly complex journey towards clothed safety. And it's surprisingly innocent and naive, considering both Cleese and Booth spend at least eighty percent of the film naked. Of course, nobody can spend that much time naked on film without a little attraction...

The supporting cast are good, however this is really a vehicle for the two leads. Running at around 40 minutes, it's well worth looking up, whether you want to have a fun time, whether you relish the sight of Cleese's arse and a very full frontal Booth, or even whether you are a fan of Chekhov screen adaptations ...
Reviewer: Paul Shrimpton

 

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