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  • Fantozzi is such a lovely little movie. It narrates the antics of a lower class office worked employed by a faceless corporation. Paolo Villaggio used to work for a large international company and experienced the daily little humiliations and frustrations so often present in large offices. He used this experience to write a bitterly satirical book by the same title as the movie. Masked behind the funny stories of Fantozzi, there are the horrible realities of the daily work life of a humble worker. The movie is far less profound than the book. The slap-stick comedy is so good that everything else is forgotten. The attention to detail is impressive and can only be appreciated after a second or third vision of the movie. All the characters are very real and can be found in every day life. A must see for all those people that can see through the layer of basic comedy and find the bitter satire of a pointless life. Everybody else will enjoy the slap-stick bits. It can be considered as the granddad of modern classics such as `The Office'.
  • Despite the absence of an actual plot (the movie is more or less a sequence of sketches), Fantozzi is probably the last hooray of the Italian-style Comedy. Sure, the general tone is much lighter if compared to classic Italian-style Comedies, but nonetheless the fire of a merciless socio-cultural criticism still burns under the see-through veil of the farce.

    Accountant Ugo Fantozzi embodies every possible stereotype of your Average middle-class Italian of the 70s. Stuck in a frustrating job, exploited and made fun of by his coworkers, designated victim of his bosses, unhappy and disheartened family man (married to an unbelievably ugly and dull wife, and with a simian daughter), he always seems to draw the shortest straw. No matter what he does, and how hard he tries, Lady Luck will always turn her back on him. Better if after having given him some hope.

    But mind you, behind all the improbable situations and the over-the-top comedy stuff, the message is indeed deeper. Everything Fantozzi wishes for is the so-called Italian Dream: after the economical boom of the late 50s, every Italian dreamt about landing a good 9-to-5 job, buying himself a house and a car, living a nice and quiet family life with summer holidays, plenty of hobbies etc. And, should things have gone very well, maybe a mistress too...

    Instead, poor Fantozzi is stuck in a rut: he has a second-rate version of all of that... And the more he tries to attain "happiness", the worse it ends.

    Clearly, the comedy aspect is prominent, and the movie is also enjoyable for its slapstick comedy, for its sketches and for its caricatural portrait of Italian lower/middle-class. But once the funny parts are an "acquired taste", you can see past it and the sadness of the characters appears, offering a whole new dimension to the movie.

    In origin Fantozzi was a literary character, created by Paolo Villaggio himself (who'll star as Fantozzi in all the subsequent movies), and on the written page the social criticism was much heavier. The cinematic version made the satire more enjoyable, probably less sharp, but for sure not less noticeable.

    In the end, Fantozzi is a classic of Italian Comedy, and has had a long-lasting impact on Italian language, comedy and society. Every single character, quote and episode is well known in Italy and can easily be "recycled" in everyday's life, even 35 odds years after its original creation.

    Had it been "just another silly comedy", it wouldn't had the same impact.

    The only real downside of the movie, and of the whole saga, is you have to watch it in Italian, possibly understanding the language to a decent degree. Otherwise many jokes and situations will go over your head
  • This is the first movie of the long Fantozzi-series. And as it often happens all the follow-ups were never as good as the original. This movie is based on a book written by Paolo Villaggio himself (Fantozzi, main character in the movie). You can define it as the first movie of a new italian comedian style. It was the break-point of Villaggio's actor-career. Today he's one of the most famous italian comedians, a lot of people know Villaggio but everybody knows Fantozzi. The success of this movie is probably based on the fact that everybody can identify with Fantozzi. He's a normal worker, has a happy family an awful-looking daughter, some friends and he is into Signorina Silvani who works with him. You can compare Fantozzi to Al Bundy. Nothing works like he wants but at the end everything is alright. I don't know if the Fantozzi-movies have been translated to English, but if you have the chance to watch one of them don't miss it!!
  • mf97626 November 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    It's not the plot, there isn't. It's not the human depth of the character, there isn't. It's the way Paolo Villaggio's voice-over narrates the events. The tone, the rhythm, the dramatic accent on absolutely secondary details. I guess everyone has a friend who's unbeatable in telling stories, the guy who makes the whole local bar or pub laugh for hours upon rather simple anecdotes. Villaggio's of that kind. You listen to him simply because he's so good at it. And for what he did to Italian language, he's second only to Dante Alighieri. Whith his linguistic inventions he totally renewed the way we speak. There is not a single line from his earlier movies which hasn't become of common use. Pure genius.
  • stf-nr22 May 2006
    The Fantozzi saga in Italy is something you can not do without. A lot of quotes are common use in everyday life of people. Paolo Villaggio, who is the author of the original books of Fantozzi, is also the perfect cast for the part, but also all the other characters are outstanding representations of the real life working environment (I personally enjoy very much "Geometra Calboni" interpreted by Giuseppe Anatrelli).

    I happened to think, and more then once, that these movies are not to be lost, they are a portrait of Italian life in the 70s and they are an example on how you can laugh (and laugh loud!) with a very low level (especially in the first and second episodes) of vulgarity. I'll take for me VHS or DVD collection to show them to my children's, with the hope that their generation will enjoy them as much as mine.
  • r-cantillo26 October 2006
    It's true, Fantozzi is such a cult in Italy that unless you've actually watched at least one movie you're going to miss most jokes by your fellow Italian as at least three out of ten are related to a fantozzi movie somehow:) if you're unlucky or clumsy you are 'fantozzi' and people can pretend to be fantozzi's boss: 'fantozzi, is it you'? One of fantozzi's most popular answers (usually to his boss's magnanimous decision to move him to the basement and increase his shifts from 5 to 8) is to say: "Thank you you are so human" so every time anybody says something evil or mean you can reply jokingly and say 'you're so human':) also his name is hilariously and constantly misspelled 'fantocci' 'bambocci' etc.

    but unless you know the fantozzi quotes you won't get the gist of it and you'll be lost to most other who watched the movie(s) lots of times..

  • Il_Koreano10 August 2001
    "Fantozzi" are the first of a long series of movie (going more and more ahead it has been arrived to a repetitive comedy). The story speak about the accountant Ugo Fantozzi, a man much ill-fated, and of it's daily adventures, in the office and in the house. All it is drawn from the book "Fantozzi", published in the 1971 by Rizzoli. And it is just this last one that distributes this movie. An enriched film thanks to Villaggio and the rest of the cast (between which Liu Bosisio, Anna Mazzamauro and Gigi Reder). But also thanks to a good script, written without stupidity. It's a full film of catastrophic adventures, in which Fantozzi goes always fall to us, to times without it's will. With this comment I have commented also the other "Fantozzi" films.
  • Fantozzi is the first step in a long journey of movie that spanned over almost 3 decades. While the more and more the journey proceed, the authors seems to lose a the inspiration and the grip over the story and the peace of the comedy, the first two movies in this installment are a true masterpiece for the Italian culture. As a guy born in Italy in the early 80' I can understand the background and how this movie was somehow a portrait (of course exasperated) of a certain corporate mentality made of cowardice toward the powers and servile attitudes. All the ridiculous adventure of Mr Fantozzi are indeed a description of a desperate and unsuccessful attempt of a middle class man to rise in the society. There is more than it can be written about the Fantozzi series but something has to be said in advance: I can understand if a for a non-Italian this comedy might not be look particularly fun. It is indeed an Italian phenomenon, hard to explain if you have not the right background. I think also that to really appreciate this movie you should be fluent in Italian because most of the fun is lost in translation.
  • This film is a veritable milestone in the history of Italian film comedy and was the start of a series of 10 outings (which spanned nearly 25 years) featuring the hapless titular character, the epitome of a working-class underdog (who had been introduced in novel form by star/co-writer Paolo Villaggio himself); in itself, while patchy overall, it's still the second best in the entire series.

    Here we are introduced to the characters which would reappear throughout the series: Fantozzi's frumpy wife (which would eventually be played, from the third entry onwards, by Luis Bunuel regular Milena Vukotic), his hideous daughter who looks more like a monkey (actually played a boy - subsequently a man - in drag!); his overbearing colleagues - the ever-optimistic myopic organizer (Gigi Reder), the playboy figure who's arrogant to his peers but utterly complacent to his superiors (Giuseppe Anatrelli), the free-spirited woman (Anna Mazzamauro) whom he desires but who's really quite unattractive herself; the employers, as befits the satiric nature of the films, are depicted as near deities with their offices fitted with armchairs in human skin and in whose aquariums swim a selected number of 'lucky' employees!!

    The first entry has its fair share of memorably comic sequences: the football game during a thunderstorm between single and married men, Fantozzi's recurring mystical visions which invariably occur after having incurred a particularly heavy physical blow, the road rage sequence featuring a confrontation with a gang of thugs, the billiard game in which Fantozzi, after much verbal abuse, turns the tables on his superior and eventually kidnaps the latter's love-struck mother as security against his vengeance and a scene at a Japanese restaurant where, among other calamities, samurai are lopping off the limbs of those customers who are not appreciative of their cuisine!!
  • In my opinion it is a film without any grace. It is incredible to see the great and funny film "Amici Miei" has the same rating as this awful "Fantozzi". It's horrendous repetitive succession of sketches. It is a horrible movie and i don't understand what kind of people may like this movie. But what surprises me is that so few people have been suspended it.

    In Spain there are also similar films as the films of Paco Martínez Soria for example. It is very difficult to stand and watch the entire movie. There are moments when it seems incredible how bad it is. I write this review because I love the comedies of all sorts and I was completely disappointed with this film.

    All in all, a complete and total waste of time.