If you’re looking for a 1960s romp through Italy, look no further than the Rock Hudson/Gina Lollobrigida classic Come September (Disc/Download). It may be about thirty minutes too long, it may operate on a premise that makes no sense, but in terms of adorable dresses, catchy songs, and Rock looking quite dashing on a Vespa, this is a fun cinema vacation.
In Come September, Rock plays a wealthy businessman who decides to visit his Ligurian coast mansion in September. However, he soon discovers that his butler (Walter Slezak) has secretly turned his house into a hotel during the off-season. Rock arrives to find it full of teenage girls, including the always-delightful Sandra Dee. Rather than kick them out, he… lets them stay? I’m still not sure why, other than to give us lots of “grumpy Rock” scenes, followed by “stern father-figure Rock” scenes, but nevertheless, it’s Rock with a house full of ladies. Then his Italian lover (Gina Lollobrigida) shows up for a roll in the hay, but somehow, she’s stuck rooming with Sandra Dee and subject to bed checks by the girls’ chaperone. Again, no idea why. Bobby Darin then arrives with a car full of guys (including a very young Joel Gray), but Rock makes them sleep on the front lawn in a tent. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this movie is bonkers, but somehow, it works.
There’s one memorable scene where Rock drinks Bobby Darin’s crew under the table, and brandy is the weapon of choice. Let’s pretend we’re sipping a cocktail on the veranda of his mansion, watching the chaos unfold. While viewing Come September, I recommend drinking an Italian Stinger.
1 ½ oz Brandy
1 ½ oz Galliano
Combine brandy and Galliano in a glass filled with ice, stirring gently to combine. Top with a twist of orange.
This would be the movie that introduced Bobby Darin to Sandra Dee, and after marrying in real life, they would go on to make two more equally delightful sixties rom-coms together. Now that’s the kind of “Multiplication” I can get behind. Cheers!