Cerasella was a hit Neapolitan song in 1959 for Gloria Christian and Wilma De Angelis. One of the verses translates as: “With a kiss or a slap, you are cherry or lemon”. The portrait of an irresistible yet standoffish young woman, in Raffaello Matarazzo’s hands the film becomes a lively comedy kissed by the sunshine of the Amalfi coastline. The master of the Italian melodrama (starting with Catene), here demonstrates a surprisingly fresh and agile narrative style, a clear demonstration of his ability to apply himself to different genres without losing focus on story or character development, and his taste for classy entertainment. The film is also of note as a forerunner to what will become the successful musicarello genre, which in a few years will invade the Italian silver screen with its mix of youth, love, fun and pop music. Here, the music revolves around Neapolitan melodies (in particular, those of Roberto Murolo and Fausto Cigliano). Claudia Mori, 15 at the time, makes her debut, giving a delightfully natural performance alongside 20-year-old Mario Girotti, who will later change his name to Terence Hill.
Cerasella, a lively young woman, is engaged Alfredo, but runs away before the wedding. She takes refuge on a small sailboat, where she meets Bruno, a young man from a rich family who is engaged to Nora. Bruno’s father suspects that his son’s fiancée is only interested in his money. Indeed, when he cuts off financial support, she seems to lose interest. Love begins to blossom between Cerasella and Bruno.