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Alvaro Vitali is immediately recognizable to anyone who's ever seen an Italian comedy from the seventies upwards. When he's partnered with Renzo Montagnani or part of the ensemble cast (see any entry in the 'Insegnante', 'Poliziotta' or 'Soldatessa' series) he is just about bearable. But man, it is difficult to watch a film where he is in every single scene. His face is like a lemon that someone has drawn some features on. His voice hurts your ears as well. Worse still, by the time he made these Pierino films, he was over forty but still dressed up as a four year old. He's even riding a children's tricycle. His silly beret and loud outfits seem to be stuck in the colourful seventies, while all the other people clearly live in the drab and gray nineties.
After he loses his job feeding dogs at the race track, the credits start with a silly theme tune whistled by Berto Pisano that immediately gets on your nerves. Now he puts on an incredibly embarrassing blue outfit that makes him look like Donald Duck. I suppose the reason for this is that his family still treats him like a baby. He swears a lot for a little kid, though and soon hooks up with his ten year old best friend (who is almost as big as Vitali) to pull some Bart Simpson crank phone calls. Unlike Bart you just know Pierino is gonna get caught before he hangs up. There's only one thing Italians love more than underdogs, and thats watching underdogs being beat up.
At school we have to watch him pulling more pranks. At one point he gets rid of the ugly horse teacher, who is soon replaced by Nadia Bengala. But since the era of raunchy seventies sex comedies had long passed by this time, nothing much happens with her at all. Appearantly Alvaro's movies were now primarily aimed at children. Soon he leaves the school (and the title of this movie) behind to bother his family at work: grandma at the hairdressers, daddy at his restaurant, sister Sonia in the kitchen and after that some people whom I do not believe he is even supposed to be related to. So let me get this straight: when he's with his family he is an insufferable klutz, but as soon as he hooks up with his little pal, he becomes Dennis the Menace. Well in that case he deserves everything he gets and does not get beat up enough.
There is no story. Vitali just pulls pranks and giggles his irritating little laugh. At one point there is a film being shot in town and Pierino interrupt a love scene. What was the point of that? With a screenplay written by Vitali, his director and the producer, you might expect them to come up with a one decent joke about their own profession. But no (and why do directors in Italian comedies always wear cowboy hats, big coats and scarfs?) Let me warn you in advance that there's a joke involving dog poop coming up. When his family wins the lottery, I was hoping the end was near, but no such luck: he still tries out several more jobs. One particularly offensive bit sees him pretending to be oriental while working at a Chinese restaurant. By the time he's wiping car windows plastering posters on the wall I was completely lost. Please! I can't take another close up of his deformed face. I feel sorry for people who actually went to see this on the big screen.
1 out of 10
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