From the “Theorem” of Ask me if I’m happy, to the Deception of the cadrega of Three men and a leg, we discover 8 scenes from the films of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo that we know by heart.
Twenty-five years ago it was released in the cinema Three men and a legthe first film by Aldo, John and James, the first collaboration with the director Massimo Venier, as well as the first somersault towards the coveted cinematic step after years of TV and a lot of theatre. The 1997 experiment, also written by Giorgio Gherarducci of Gialappa’s Band, is a hymn to friendship and the crisis of thirty-year-olds, an on the road trip from Milan to Gallipoli that manages to collect 40 billion lire, a special Silver Ribbon and a nomination for the Davids for best new directors. The film also marks one of the most beautiful pages of Italian cinema of the nineties, becoming a real one over the decades cult which will be worth to the three the immense and unchanged affection of the public, another thirteen feature films (the last, The big day is in theaters from December 22, 2022) and an unthinkable impact on the collective memory of the most loyal fans. Who still today, especially those in their early thirties, know perfectly well some of their scenes which have become famous and which seem, in their eyes, never to grow old (and tire).
In a heartfelt celebratory tribute to their careers, we therefore wanted to name eight, each culled from Three men and a leg, That’s life, ask me if I’m happy, The Legend of Al, John and Jack and even The cosmos on the dresser; all sequences now an integral part of ours popular national comic imagery and thanks to social networks re-evaluated also in the form of a meme. Aware of having to discard as many deserving ones, these seemed to us to be the ones able to enclose all their melancholic, tender and pungent irony in a handful of minutes. Here they are in random order.
1. Lessons in love (at the refrigerated counter) (ask me if I’m happy)
In the end, the double couple dinner Giacomo-Daniela (Daniela Cristofori) and Aldo-Silvana (Silvana Fallisi) becomes triple and Giovanni becomes the third friend for the new neighbor of the two, namely Marina (Massironi), the floor hostess wrong already known days before. At the supermarket, dragging the trolley next to the refrigerated counter, Aldo instructs Giacomino in the essential texts by Marco Ferradini, “the guru of love”, in the famous passage Theorem of 1984. Despite the commitment, however, the latter does not get one right: da “try to be”…”who you are” to “out of bed”…”no one is perfect”taken by despondency, Giacomo relaunches the last verse to the elderly lady next door, receiving the curt (exact) answer “No mercy”. Even lactic ferments know certain things.
2. Neorealism?! No, the mussels (Three men and a leg) is a scene from the films of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo that we know by heart
No one can resist the call of a half-empty cinema, even if it’s the middle of August, late, you’ve just had an accident and you find yourself in a remote village in southern Italy where the only mechanic available isn’t at the moment in the workshop. Having taken the popcorn and the best seats, the screening begins which takes us back to an almost perfect narrative leap into the theatrical sketch of Ajeje Brazorf and the controller seen live in Tel chi el telùnhere in the form of a neorealist film with actors taken from the street entitled “Bitter ticket”. A memorable scene that culminates with Giacomo’s attack of colitis after lunch, which will soon take him to the hospital for an exhilarating diagnosis with Aldo’s precious medical contribution.
3. Confession (ask me if I’m happy)
In one of the highlights of the entire film, the tension is as sharp as knives. Or rather swords (made of paper), like the ones that John and James wield during a test of their coveted Cyrano de Bergerac ready to debut. In an empty theater in their respective guises of Cyrano and Cristiano, the two are about to screw up not only the first but their own twenty-year friendship, in a confession that marks one of the most bitter sequences of their entire filmography. Giacomo is finally about to say that while the other was in Frankfurt to clarify things with Marina, he kissed her making him faint for a few minutes. Once he comes to his senses, Giovanni will spit on the other a rage never seen, also leading him to destroy the scenography that we saw Aldo create with painstaking care for the rest of the film. Still, you know: betrayal by your best friend hurts. Too bad.
4. Doctor Frinzi (The cosmos on the dresser)
It is perhaps not one of their best titles, neither from the point of view of the box office, nor from that of the critics, but one scene in particular still amazes us for its concentration of embarrassment and anger, which suddenly catches an impatient Giacomo sitting in a doctor’s office. Probably inspired by the life of Storti himself, the fourth and final episode of The cosmos on the dresser sees him in front of a renowned gynecologist, Dr. Alexandra Gastani Frinzi (Donatella Finocchiaro), who promises miracles in the field of assisted fertilization, given his sterility which prevents his wife from having children. But the dislike of the luminary who acidly reproaches them for not having applied themselves sufficiently under the sheets, makes Giacomino blurt out in a comic but witty sequence that captures the frustration of many couples in a bittersweet way in their long and difficult journey to be able to become parents. The scene has rightfully become a meme to be used on various occasions.
5. Body with fruit (The legend of Al, John and Jack) is a scene from the films of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo that we know by heart
And the Jack’s birthday and after Melissa’s inevitable cake it’s time to unwrap the presents. If with Al you are on the safe side with a pistol even without shots, with John instead the surprise is not the most welcome. In fact, his friend had the brilliant idea of buying him a beautiful illustrated book by Caravaggio, complete with youthful tables in which the artist experiments with a new use of light, demonstrating all his cultural sophistication with a simple but effective move. peculiar compared to the typical basic gangster attitude of the other two. On the other hand, the film is a whole a parody of seriousness and the cinematic stereotype of Italian-American mobsters long seen on the big screen.
6. Too Many Memories (Three men and a leg)
The driver chooses the music, and we learned this thanks to Three men and a leg. The beloved sequence plays with the annoying and perpetual change of radio station (or in this case cassette tape) which punctually curses any traveler who does not share the same musical tastes with the rest of the passengers. Giovanni, at the wheel, and Giacomo, on the seat next to him, pass by Italian songwriter to metal, come on Countryside cousins touchingly Lights at the San Sirountil getting dangerously caught up in pathos from lyric risking big, in a ping-pong of proposed and punctually rejected pieces that inexorably seals one of the most memorable scenes of their career, enclosing, with incredible simplicity, the typical situation of a long journey on the motorway through the Belpaese.
7. Every morning, in Africa (That’s life)
By placing one of the most mentioned sketches of the theatrical show in a different context Tel chi el telùnthe self-quotation of the trio inside That’s life this time it takes on a purely romantic function. In a dinner for two from the afterlife, Aldo asks Giovanni and Giacomo for help in conquering Clara (a very blonde and diaphanous Marina Massironi in a ghostly version), and after several attempts to ease the embarrassment between the two it is Storti who plays the last paper: the African saying about the lion and the gazelle. However, it is one thing to listen to it, another is to memorize it in the few seconds available and repeat it straight away in front of a girl. So much so that Aldo, once back at the table, wraps himself up twisting the whole proverb, giving life to an exhilarating moment that sees him as the absolute protagonist in one of the things he does best: making us laugh by releasing tenderness.
8. The deception of the cadrega (Three men and a leg) is a scene from the films of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo that we know by heart
The tail of their first stage show The Courts comes exactly halfway through their first film Three men and a leg. In a sort of parody of the gothic-literary genrewhat will turn out to be Aldo’s nightmare is a hilarious fragment of an unusual Count Dracula from Palermo thirsty for blood, happened by chance in the house of Michele and Gino, two Transylvanian faithful from the Po valley, ready with lots of rifles and heads hanging from the hunt for the terroir. The suspicion that the guest is not 100% Po valley leads the two to the infallible deception of the cadrega, a joke made on purpose to certify their knowledge of the Lombard dialect, the only one able to know if the term ‘cadrega’ indicates the chair or, in the case of the trio, an apple. Dracula’s intuition obviously falls on the wrong object and the outcome is very disparate.
8 jokes from the films of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo that we know by heart