7 July 2004 | Chip_douglas
Collection of old wife's tales
Nino Manfredi and Mariangela Melato are a couple who teach at the same elementary school and are dying to have a child of their own. At this school all the little students wear uniforms that make them look like miniature Austin Powers'. They also accompany the soundtrack with insipid songs that tell you what you are looking at. Whether you understand Italian or not, it soon gets on your nerves.
The couple decide to visit a Swiss sexuologist who uses a gay translator as a go-between. Paolo (Manfredi) does not seem to be having any problems down below, so it must be Maria (Melato)'s fault. He buys a special bed, she tries to commit suicide. Maria prefers old wife's tales over cold scientific facts, making her imagine a pregnancy that is not really there. It takes her a long time to tell Paolo the truth. Too long in fact (for him and for the viewer), since they are already throwing baby showers and decorating a room for little "Andrea".
I suppose actress Mariangela Melato was more popular with women than with men, as she got to play more female friendly parts than her contemporaries. Instead of having to spend the whole film being just a love interest or a object of lust, this large eyed, slender woman actually got to put forth a feminist standpoint (occasionally). There is also some typical early seventies social commentary on pollution, and Nino Manfredi shows he plays a nice guy really well. Still, neither the characters nor the viewer get a satisfactory feeling of closure. Like the similarly themed 'Maybe Baby' (2000), the movie simply ends.
5 out of 10