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My Friends

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My Friends

Like in many other Monicelli movies, the main theme of Amici miei is friendship, seen from a rather bitter point of view. It tells the story of four middle-aged friends in Florence who organize together idle pranks (called zingarate, "gypsy shenanigans") in a continuous attempt to prolong childhood during their adult life.

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Release : 1975
Rating : 8.1
Studio : Rizzoli Film,  R.P.A. Cinematografica, 
Crew : Director,  Music, 
Cast : Ugo Tognazzi Gastone Moschin Philippe Noiret Duilio Del Prete Adolfo Celi
Genre : Comedy

Cast List

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Reviews

lasttimeisaw
2016/11/20

a review of MY FRIENDS and ALL MY FRIENDS PART 2---MY FRIENDS is originally a project for Italian writer/director Pietro Germi, whose untimely death in 1974 at the age of 60, leaves the film to be taken over by another maestro of the Commedia all'Italiana, Mario Monicelli. The film was a whopping box-office success, which subsequently would spawn two sequels, Monicelli would be back in the saddle with ALL MY FRIENDS PART 2 (1982) and ALL MY FRIENDS PART 3 (1985) would be outsourced to Nanni Loy. A double-bill of these two Monicelli's vehicles, set in Florence, MY FRIENDS has a quartet core of middle-aged men: Count Lello Mascetti (Tognhzzi), a down-and-out ex-nobleman who has squandered all his fortunes, can only slum it in a tiny basement with his suicide-driven wife Alice (Vukotic) and their daughter, which doesn't dissuade him from being smitten with an underage student Titti (Dionisio), who has a predilection for girls over men; the second one is Giorgio Perozzi (Noiret), a journalist separated from his wife Laura (Goodwin) and is irreconcilably at adds with his prim adult son; then there is Rambaldo Melandri (Moschin), a bachelor architect, determined to find his perfect half and lastly is Guido Necchi (Del Prete), married with Carmen (Tamantini) and they own a bar which serves as their haunt. Life is anything but optimistic, Pietro Germi and co.'s script conscientiously draws the milieu from reality, in both Mascetti and Perozzi's cases, one might easily finds company in distress and self- abandonment, but, not these four, feeding on their staunch friendship, the fold never relinquish their idiosyncratic practical jokes and escapades, mostly ingenious and borderline harmless, counting their classic passengers-slapping when a train departs and Mascetti's trademark "supercazzola" gibberish. And following Melandri's tireless pursuit of a married woman, Donatella (Karlatos), an embodiment of Madonna with psychological hiccups, a fifth member, Professor Sassaroli (Celi) is introduced, a renowned surgeon and the husband of Donatella, who is perversely liberal about the affair and is more than happy to not stand in their way if they are really made for each other, and of course, they are not, but Sassaroli is here to stay. One of their most detailed skits involves a penny-pinching pensioner Righi (Blier), who is hustled into believing that the quartet belongs to a mafia mob, with Sassaroli as their boss, dangled by the profitable income, Righi buckles down to join in their "dangerous" line-of-work, and their adventure culminates in a self-organized gangster melee, which leaves Righi in chagrin, utterly side-splitting thanks to Blier's bang-up po-faced bearing. The coda of MY FRIENDS deflects to a more sombre streak - a heart attack does Peruzzi in, all happens in a sudden but no grim sorrow is allowed to percolate, his friends keep their comic esprit de corps alive, even death cannot take it away. ALL MY FRIENDS PART 2 comes 7 years later, the story continues after Peruzzi's abrupt departure, the original cast returns (significantly older) except Del Prete, who is replaced by a more prosaic- looking Renzo Montagnani as Necchi, only the latter is not endowed with Del Prete's dashing and devil-may-care panache. The part 2 doesn't structurally pigeonhole itself as a strict sequel, owing to the huge pull of Noiret's Perozzi, there are abundant flashbacks charting Perozzi and Mascetti's past stories, which take place earlier than those in the first one, while without ghettoizing Sassaroli out of the picture (the original four becomes a quintet), it conspicuously creates some anachronism for viewers with fresh memory of the first installment. Gallantly interpolating the flood of Arno in 1966, the story manages to expound on Perozzi's marriage disintegration and take a taunting spin on Melandri's another devoted courtship to a voluptuous but God-fearing young girl Noemi (Giordano).Contriving an act of pulling Pisa tower back in perpendicular, gate-crushing a singing contest with a risqué song a cappella in the presence of cardinals, a chirpy caper involving a Spanish contortionist (Da Silva), their shticks never disappoint, meanwhile Mascetti has his own familial problem when his slow-witted daughter is impregnated by an unknown rapist and decides to become an unwed mother. Finally, a guest performance from Paolo Stoppa as Savino, a Shylock to whom Mascetti is indebted, he would fall prey into the quartet's pranks (includes a scatological one which sublimely tips the scale), and undergo several "invisible" operations to square off Mascetti's debts. Similarly, another heart attack befalls on one of the main characters near the finish, but this time, to a lesser extent, Tognazzi, Moschin, Noiret and Celi are all sterling comedians, but it is Tognazzi who stands out in his more sympathetic nobleman-in-distress mould. Inscribing their marks as quintessential pieces of Commedia all'Italiana, both films are salacious, amoral and pathologically funny, although the second one only logically contends to take a leaf from its predecessor's book. But essentially they are not connived as far-fetched escapist fares with a shamelessly patronizing smugness, their gypsyish antics are genuinely devised to imbue a positive vibe out of their quotidian misfortunes, despite that they can never hit the right note of the gender politics, yet, what do you expect from a buddy movie?

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PimpinAinttEasy
2016/02/19

Aging friends show their asses to miserable society that lives by the rules .....---Dear Mario Monicelli, Amici Miei/My Friends is the third film by you that I watched in the last three months. It was not as enjoyable as Big Deal on Madonna Street or The Great War. One reason could be that it was pretty anarchic. There was no real plot. Just the anti-social antics of a bunch of aging friends, one after the other. Their misogynistic sexual escapades and their picking on the weak and uptight. The film is so politically incorrect. Feminists might throw a hissy fit if they're shown this film. Show it to those bitches. Lol! And it is downright mean. Like the scene where they slap passengers on a passing train. Or call up random women and abuse them. Or pick on a gluttonous man by pretending to be gangsters (they take this gag to the very extreme, it is an important part of the film). Or taking a dump in a little kids potty.Even the aging have a right to have fun and they do so by showing their asses to the miserable society that lives by the rules. Life is mostly heartbreaking and unfair. And even at the end of a fun filled day, you still have to return to your job and other sordid realities. But there is no harm in having some fun. And do not expect society to like you when you have a good time.Like Big Deal on Madonna Street and The Great War, My Friends is also very bitter sweet. The ending sort of drives home this point. Monicelli foregrounds the picaresque nature of the friends but keeps reminding us that not everything is OK. The square characters keep turning up every once in a while.The film has a very non-intrusive background score. It is used in the beginning to set the mood. And then it is played only towards the end.One reviewer said I would not get it completely if I was not Italian. I guess he was right. I know nothing about the social context of this film.Best regards, Pimpin.(8/10)

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psagray
2015/11/03

Italian humor for essential vision.---The absurd humor of "Rufufú" in the 58 and irreverent humor of "Amici Miei" 75 linked by the masterful hand of Mario Monicelli, one of the most prestigious European directors. There's his Golden Lion in Venice for The Great War, his three Oscar nominations and personal Golden Lion in 1991 for his entire career. Monicelli is a man of cinema, theater and television director even besides occasional actor is undoubtedly one of the greatest exponents of European cinema and a director to review and recreate with their jobs.The script help, the "gags" are imaginative and comic goes "in crescendo" as the film unfolds. And, of course, the actors, whose professionalism to this category and not argue, also contribute to the success of the film. Ugo Tognazzi, Philippe Noiret, Bernard Blier Adolfo Celi or in the role of retired post to the "Borsalino" sensational act

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warrel
2009/01/03

A Hidden Treasure---Oh God,I am so lucky.I live in a small town in Greece and I have never heard of this film before.And it must be almost impossible to find it in DVD.I accidentally read about this film on the TV program.It was the movie of the day and it is rated with the highest grade.So,I decided to stay awake(because the film started around midnight-like many other great films in Greek TV!)and watch that really great film.It was one of the best decisions I have made recently.The film is about a company of middle-aged men.But they aren't typical 50-year-old men.These men don't care about right behavior,about what others say,about what the rules of society say.They decide to enjoy their lives,so they start making jokes to people and have real fun.They are like children that don't want to get older.First of all,it's one of the best comedies I have ever seen.The scene with Toniatsi and the others slapping the passengers of the train,who have their heads out of the window is one of the funniest scenes ever made.But the greatest part of the movie is,in my opinion,when they pretend the gangsters to make fun of an old man.But,apart from the funny scenes,this films has some things to teach us.It shows,first of all,what real friendship is.Secondly,it teaches us to enjoy our lives.These men have also problems in their lives,like other people.But they decided not to worry so much about them,and as result,they really LIVE THEIR LIVES.And I was really jealous of them,because that's the most important thing,but we often forget that.To sum up,this film is hilarious,moving,sentimental,with really lovable characters and it has some important things to teach.What else do you want from a film?

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The_Void
2008/04/16

Amusing Italian comedy---My experience of Italian comedy before seeing this film extended only to the sex comedies featuring such beauties as Edwige Fenech and Barbara Bouchet, and although I enjoyed the humour in most of the ones I've seen; I have to admit that generally I enjoyed the films more because of the stars. My Friends is a straight Italian comedy and thus the reliance is on the jokes and situations more than sexy lead stars to sell it; and while I cant say that the film is laugh out loud funny (at least not to my tastes), this is a very good film and certainly one that will appeal to fans of Italian humour. The plot is fairly simple and, as the title suggests, basically just focuses on a group of four friends. They're all middle aged and have good professions (with one exception). They wander around town and get their kicks by pulling pranks and generally annoying people. The film features a number of plot threads; the first of which sees the gang land themselves in hospital and one of them ends up meeting the beautiful wife of the top surgeon.My Friends is something of a film of two halves and I have to say that I enjoyed the first half more. The tone is always light and breezy although the film does get a bit more ambitious and involving in the second half and that doesn't suit it as well. There doesn't really seem to be a defining point to it; the only one I could see really was the idea of the central characters being older men and still enjoying life. The lead characters are depicted as almost being like children and that's one of the film's biggest running jokes and seeing grown men mess around like the characters in this film has a sort of surreal humour of it's own. The film focuses more on situation than any actual gags and we do get some interesting and well worked scenes that are very funny; seeing a load of middle aged men slapping passengers on a train for example is fun to watch. I would imagine that most of this film's fans are native Italians and I can't see a film like this ever being a big hit outside of it's native country - but for fans of Italian movies, this comedy is a winner.

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