Another cliché fest, but this one is entirely enjoyable. Tea with Mussolini features English battle-ax, free-spirited artist, dyke archaeologist, fresh-faced boy, kindly grandmotherly type, Latin Lothario, Scotsmen, etc etc. And Cher, who really has made some rather good films (this, Moonstruck, Mask). Delightful, without being too trying, and Zeffirelli’s sure hand with music and mood provokes tears all too easily. What I didn’t know, until I read the IMDB entry, is that the Luca at the centre of the story, who is coyly said, in the Where Are they Now titles at the end, to have “given a hand” to the making of the movie, is Zeffirelli himself. Live and learn.

My rating: 3 out of 5

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