(Some spoilers) Arduino Buongiorno is a middle-aged office worker whose last name means "hello" in Italian and is the source of predictable humor whenever he gives someone his name. .
He's married to a loving but dumpy wife and he seeks escape from his monotonous and boring existence by attempting to have a relationship with Jolanda (Arlette Poirier), a somewhat classy prostitute he meets when he is having his ice-cream dish at a café in Rome's Piazza della Repubblica one Sunday morning.
He himself is a drab but nice-enough guy. Trouble is, the prostitute is murdered before their rendezvous is brought to fruition Some suspect Arduino is the murderer, especially Jolanda's friend Irene, who romantically sees the man as a hero of a crime of passion! Lots of silly stuff here before our poor schmuck discovers that the actual murderer has been apprehended and he is able to return to his life of domestic tranquility, boring but secure.
This film boasts some great performers. The amazing Peppino De Filippo plays the libidinous second-string Don Juan with great skill. I was reminded of a later performance he would give as the prudish prig of an upright/uptight citizen in Fellini's "The Temptation of Doctor Antonio" (in "Boccaccio 70") who first deplores and then would fall in love with the enormous breasts of Anita Ekberg on a drink-more-milk billboard. Fellini must surely have seen this movie, given that his wife Giulietta Masina plays Irene, the friend of the murdered slattern.
A hilarious secondary character is Gianrico, played by Alberto Sordi. He is a tiresome garrulous ubiquitous bore who follows Arduino around, talking incessantly, always close to one's face, clinging, impossible to dump. You know the type. He's so incredible in those scenes that when the film was re-issued in Italy it was retitled "Lo scocciatore" or "The Boring Pest" to take advantage of Sordi's increasing popularity. The direction by Giorgio Bianchi is lively. The picture was only shown in the United States in ethnic Italian-language houses. It has been issued on video/DVD in Italy.
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