Triumph of Love
A princess (Mira Sorvino) disguises herself as a young man, determined to return her kingdom to its rightful monarch, the missing Prince Agis (Jay Rodan). She finds him isolated from the world in a remote Italian villa with Hermocrates (Sir Ben Kingsley), a middle-aged philosopher, and his spinster sister Leontine (Fiona Shaw). The disguised princess quickly becomes friends with the prince. In a complicated switching back and forth from her disguise, the princess also convinces both Hermocrates, as a woman, and Leontine, while dressed as a man, that she is in love with them. But she really falls for the handsome prince. “Triumph of Love,” based on a play written in 1732, will probably seem silly to younger audiences, but students of 18th century literature will particularly enjoy this old fashioned romantic comedy.
Although the princess, dressed as a man, kisses Leontine, it’s all an act to gain access to the prince and not a homosexual attraction. However, the princess and her maid are shown shedding their feminine gowns, putting on men’s clothing and stuffing their trousers to enhance the male disguise. A man’s bare backside is briefly seen as the women spy on the prince, bathing in a stream. Isolated from the world, Prince Agis doesn’t understand the feelings he has for his new “friend.” Bitter over the loss of his parents and rightful heritage, he even asks the disguised princess to teach him to hate the idea of love. With some suggestive content and brief nudity, “Triumph of Love” is questionable but not objectionable entertainment.