"What this young woman does six days of the week but not on Sunday we can't tell you...but we can't keep you from guessing!" says the trailer voiceover man in a gleeful nudge-nudge wink-wink. Not that any nudges or winks are required because she is quite clearly a prostitute in this jolly Greek rom-com.
In a small Greek port town, Ilya (Melina Mercouri) is a free-spirited prostitute who picks her own men and sets her prices. A mild-mannered American scholar called Homer (Jules Dassin) considers himself a modern-day philosopher. He decides to study Ilya to turn her into his ideal of purity and intellectualism. Will ancient philosophy win out against the oldest profession in the world?
Though the traditional Greek jolliness can get a bit irritating (the title song was so darn catchy that it won an Oscar), Mercouri is wonderfully sassy. There's also some hilarity when Ilya tells her versions of the Greek tragedies, where everyone goes off happily to the seashore at the end. However, the film pokes just as much fun at Homer, who's a bit of a fuddy-duddy.
If you thought Pretty Woman was an unrealistic view of prostitution, you probably won't like this. There is a pimp but he isn't really that scary and he's no match for the girl power of the local whores. However, it is a nice twist on the Pygmalion story and worth a watch for rom-com fans.
There's also some metafictional humour; Homer tells one of the locals "I've been dying to sleep with her [Ilya]". Six years later,