Lui e peggio di mei is possibly the apogee of the Celentano-style Italian comedy.
Their structure is always the same, from supposedly rural Serafino to the supposedly "in [VHS] America" Geppo [il fole] : boy meets girl, his previously arrangements that he had previously considered well adjusted and to which he had deemed himself committed no longer satisfy, he decides he must have her (and therefore necessarily does, of course), the end, we can all go home.
The decors have no more substance than cardboard, they're there (if painstakingly painted to very high realism) merely to confer context, not to get themselves mixed up in the story -- which story is practically Tigerfibel but for a lesser kitten. You still ride it around and even (somewhat) get inside of it for the purpose ; it even still shoots (though admittedly with longer reload times), though it takes no diesel. The same thing, really, in the only possible sense of that concept : the operator is pretty much the same, to the marginal ape-man holding a Fibel, all kittens are tigers. Then again we kinda knew this going in, who the fuck needs (or for that matter wants) a simple-to-read (and preferably illustrated) manual to mating ?
Adriano Celentano works well for this role principally because a) he's ugly as sin, quite literallyii, and b) he's quite well known in the original market, such that he's liable to have been the subject of infantile fantasy occuring at some previous moment in the scant and rare inner life of the atomic unit of intended audience. To reinforce these natural assets, the producersiii universally choose to construct the "previous arrangements" around as tough a skeleton of machismo as they can possibly conceive in context, which has the interesting if unforeseen side-effect of turning Celentano into the literal icon of European 70s-80s macho man. Some of the shit he says is just the height of comedy through the precise mechanism of humour, and it works fine irrespective of how smart you are, because it doesn't work through scarcity driven by "I just didn't imagine", it works through scarcity driven by "I never heard this", and that's not in your hands. Since al sorts of stuff that was just as benign fifty years ago but also deemed benign and thereby rather discoursively common meanwhile was "awareness-risen" into scarcity, Celentano's boat was by degrees elevated to where he's probably the funniest thing of 2020. Fancy that wonder!
This particular installment is possibly the pinnacle because... heck, I don't know. Renato Pozzetto is just as uselessly dismal here as anywhere else, for sure. Yet... somehow the structure strikes me as more elegant, the relationships more convincing, that thing where the two best friends share a converted duplex and the chicks switching beds meet in the middle to exchange a pleasant "how is he ?" "not bad"... people actually lived like this, you realise. I lived like this. It's... not bad. I suppose in the end that's what it is : I've known farmers, but they weren't anything even remotely like il bisbetico, I've known lawyers, but none of them worked like il burberoiv, I've known bus drivers but none were at all a sorta Barnaba (though the coupla actual princesses I've ever known were rather trying in the vein of Cristina) and so on. I suppose, if you must, this one wins because it's the only one where the hero's educated out of (non-sexual) gayitude, rather than indolent boyish normalcy. Hey gay boys, did you know Celentano has a manual for how to heal your gayness ? Spoiler : you've just not met the right girl yet, with the correct slack jaw, no tits, ugly mouth and inexpressive eyes! Keep diggin'!———
- 1985, by Enrico Oldoini, with Adriano Celentano, Renato Pozzetto, Kelly Van der Velden. [↩]
- As per the Euro-saying, "to marry men merely need to be slightly comelier than the devil himself". Which is only fair in that context, seeing how the young woman merely needs to be slightly smarter than an arboreal hollow to... well, maybe not exactly marry, but you get the idea. Fairness is always a matter of qualifications.
Incidentally : the producers make sure there's a reference made by the girl early in the mating dance, about how he looks just like a horse. Which... [↩]
- These are TV "films", they're producer-driven, the director merely ornamental, like a glorified secretary/gofer. [↩]
- Though in fairness, that probably has the greatest concentration of utterly excellent one-liners, between the "gialli Mondadori", the "promise you'll make some other friends", the "if I had any friends they'd confirm" and so on, it's just a blow-out laugther machine, that one.
See that you could figure that all out by yourself, without needing me to suggest the right answer to you at all ? [↩]