The death of his mother brings Richie Bravo back from his adopted home in Italy to his teenage bedroom in Lower Austria. With a schnapps in hand and velvety Wurlitzer melodies in the air, he and his “piccolo fratello” bid farewell in the cellar to the parental home. His father is in a nursing home. Pop star Richie makes money in Rimini. Richie claims he is still “con molto amore” – a bit of a squeeze, and squeezing is what it takes to get Richie into his corset and “jacketto”, with which he rhymes “perfetto”, before ardently crooning schmaltzy German songs in staid hotel foyers. Oozing sultry charm, this Austrian gigolo inveigles his way into the minds, bodies and wallets of women of a certain age.
Seidl’s new magnum opus is deeply romantic, even sad. No matter how dirty and perverse on the surface, few films capture life’s pathos as this one does. Bookended by Hans-Michael Rehberg’s last appearance on screen, Rimini stars Michael Thomas, who shines in the role of son, father and man. Seidl is known for his incredible titles such as Import/Export, Safari or Paradise trilogy.