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Two soccer stories: Alvaro Presutti is a referee who seems to be the last to know about his wife having an affair with a German soccer star. Amedeo Amedei has to please both his father, a die hard Roma supporter and his future father in law, who supports Lazio. Written by
Caricatures of the main cast members adorn the opening credits, with the headlining duo of Pippo Franco and Alvaro Vitali being emphasized throughout. However the two popular comedians never share a scene, as the film and indeed the title are split into two short subjects: "Il Tifoso" (the supporter, coming in at 50 minutes) and "L'arbitro e Il Calciatore" (the soccer player and the referee, 39 minutes). And to confuse things ever more, the two stories are shown in the reversed order.
So, Alvaro Vitali is up first as the Referee who is having all sorts of trouble with soccer players, particularly one having to do with his gorgeous young wife Manuela (Carmen Russo). Alvaro (who is called by the same name in the film) can be stern and unlikable in his profession, and finds himself the recipient of the worst insult in the Italian language by a large part of the supporters, namely of being a cuckold (meaning his wife sleeps around). When he receives a video tape from an anonymous source showing his bombshell of a wife and German soccer star Walter Grass (Marco Gelardini) cavorting on a beach, Alvaro plans to find out the truth and restore his manly honor.
When Vitali, an ugly, cross-eyed little man reacts to the video tape of his wife, it is obviously played for laughs. But none of the Italian males I know are able to laugh at his plight. So heavily weighs the insult of being a cuckold, or 'horned one'. Personally I was questioning the validity of a marriage between the Vitali who looks like a super deformed toy and Russo who is shaped like Jessica Rabbit from the start, but hey, that's just me.
In the second tale, Pippo Franco is Amedeo Amedei, a stout Roma supporter who seeks to impress his future father in law Commendator Pecorazzi (Gigi Reder). Unfortunately, Pecorazzi supports Lazio, which prompts Amedeo to lead a double life supporting while pretending to support both teams (though his heart is still with Roma, it is also with Patrizia Pecorazzi (Daniela Poggi). Still, you wouldn't exactly notice that from the small amount of screen time Poggi is allowed to get. This is after all a film about men and their football teams. Probably the funniest sight gag involves Pippo wearing a reversible coat and cap in the colors of both Roma and Lazio. However, he keeps running from one half of the stadium to the other so many times that by the end the viewer is as tired of watching him turn his clothes inside out as he is himself.
7 out of 10 for L'Arbitro and 5 for Il Tifoso makes an average of 6 out of 10 for the combined effort.
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