Imagine if a new picture by a world-class director were enthusiastically advertised as an instance of a great artist just slumming; e.g., "Ingmar Bergman--not as thoughtful anymore!" or "Kurosawa, mundane at last!" When CIAO, PROFESSORE! made its American tour courtesy of Miramax
Films--freshly acquired by the Disney corporation--the tagline was: "The least
controversial film ever from director Lina Wertmuller!" This tepid slogan didn't do much to lure American audiences to a genuinely entertaining feature; ironically, however, it's entirely accurate. Though not without
its tart moments, CIAO, PROFESSORE! is the oft-acerbic Wertmuller in a kinder, gentler, a...