Review: Spirited Romantic Comedy 'Come September' is a Real Treat on BLU

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday October 19, 2021

One of my favorite moments in Robert Mulligan's spirited '60s romantic comedy "Come September" has an exasperated Gina Lollobrigida shout at a confused Rock Hudson, 'I don't have to make sense, I'm Italian!" This phrase might be seen today as culturally insensitive, but it sure as hell has helped my people get away with acting wacky and erratic!

And speaking of wacky, the plot of "Come September" is about as nutty as they come. Each September, wealthy New York businessman Robert L. Talbot (Hudson) journeys to Milan, Italy, to his gorgeous villa, to spend a romantic month with his stunning Roman girlfriend, Lisa Fellini (Lollobrigida). But this year he decides to surprise her by showing up in July. Alas, he's the one in for a double surprise: She, having tired of his constant promises to wed, has decided to marry someone else. And his villa has been turned into a hotel by his trusted confidant, Maurice (Walter Slezak), something he's been getting away with for years.

The villa is soon overrun by a host of American girls and the boys chasing them, led by Bobby Darrin and Sandra Dee (who met and married while making this film).

Hudson and Lollobrigida are two stars that seem to exist in the shadows of others. Hudson was never given enough credit for his acting chops, in comedy or drama. So many A-listers were considered better, more nuanced. Truth is that when Hudson worked with a good director, and sometimes even when he did not, he could be just as good as his contemporaries. Here, he is a frustrated delight, and has good chemistry with Lollobrigida, although he does seem a bit too fixated on the boys. And there's a particularly interesting drunk, homoerotic scene with the gaggle of guys (including a young, closeted Joel Grey and a gorgeous actor named Chris Seitz, who was one of Hudson's manager Henry Wilson's stable of actors, but did very little work.)

Lollobrigida always seemed to be in the shadow of Sophia Loren, yet she was her own force.Terrific at comedy, she takes over the screen whenever she is on, and dominates in the best ways. I wish the studios had room for more than one Italian dynamo back then. She was mostly wasted in a slew of crappy American films, "Buena Sera, Mrs. Campbell" being a late '60s exception.

Dee also displays a lot of screen charisma. Darrin, in his first film, not so much.

The visual Blu-ray "cinemascope" transfer is vibrant, and there's little in the way of noticeable damage lines. The Italian Riviera landscape pops magnificently. The DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track sound is top notch. Another excellent Kino Classics presentation.

A fun audio commentary is provided by film historian David Del Valle and filmmaker David DeCoteau. They go into development detail, including why Marilyn Monroe was going to star in the movie, but did not.

"Come September" is a rom-com treat, with Rock and Gina and the Italian Riviera all dazzling good reasons to watch!

Blu-ray Extras Include:

  • New Audio Commentary by Film Historian David Del Valle and Filmmaker David DeCoteau
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Optional English Subtitles


    "Come September" is available on October 19, 2021.

    Frank J. Avella is a film and theatre journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep. Frank is a recipient of a 2019 International Writers Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and a 2015 NJ State Arts Council Fellowship Award. He is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW, FIG JAM, VATICAN FALLS) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. https://filmfreeway.com/FrankAvella https://muckrack.com/fjaklute