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Just when you are thinking that Italy is a stupid country, ever been stupid and hopeless not to be stupid, find your old VHS of this movie and watch it again. Neorealistic dramas of the forties and the fifties depict a country in comparison of which Transilvanya seems Disneyland, and that's not reasonable; comedies of the sixties and seventies are quite silly and superficial. This film, along with "C'eravamo tanto amati" in my opinion, is a perfectly balanced synthesis of both streams. There's fun and there's poverty, laughter and desperation, and this makes it the most truthful social portrait of this strange, controversial place I live in. It's a good summary of recent national history as well. And it contains two or three of the highest peaks of comedy of the entire world's cinema, see the argument with the restaurant owner for the bill (I fear it works only in Italian, though)or the dinner at the aristocratic family the evening of the elections for the choice between monarchy and republic. This is worth a couple of lines. Silvio, a leftist journalist and former guerrilla soldier against fascists, and his wife are rejected by restaurants because of their lack of money. They meet an aristocrat they know who invites them for dinner. The reason is not generosity but the fact that at that dinner there are thirteen people, and a common belief was that the circumstance would bring bad luck. At the table a full inventory of the meanest and most grotesque old fashioned conservative characters of the time, who, in an embarrassing way, try to hide their opinion on the new despicable hosts and to be kind to them. As the dishes arrive the couple forget good manners and make a show of themselves. Conversation falls on politics and Silvio enworsen his situation with some bitter comments, while his wife kicks him under the table. Suddenly come the results of the elections: Italians chose republic! Someone faint, some other curse, but Silvio and his wife hug each other. The monarchists, now mad, leave the room and here comes the scene you'll remember: the butler comes, bearing a bottle of champagne, solemnly he approaches the two proletarians and fills their glasses in silence.
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