Andrea, a forty-year old engineer, suddenly becomes unemployed while his wife France gets a promotion. He is very down hearted and since he does not want to be a burden to his family he ... See full summary »
Architect Andrea Firini (the always droll Renato Pozzetto) has the nerve to speak up to his twin bosses (shot in inventive camera angles in their few scenes) and soon finds himself out of a job. At the same time his fashion editor wife Franca (Eleonora Giorgi) gets a big promotion and not wanting to spoil her fun, Andrea keeps his own situation a secret. He gets rid of the maid (who it turns out makes as much as him) and starts doing the housework himself. He still lets his wife drop him off and pick him up at his old workplace to keep up the pretense.
It does not take long for Franca to catch on and since he can't find any work as an architect anywhere, Andrea decides to apply as a manservant to a wealthy dutches played by Sylvia Koscina. He has to take residence in a quarters at her mansion which she shares with her boy toy and a gay friend. As you would expect in a comedy like this, the gay man quickly becomes interested in Andrea and nicknames him "mani di fata" (hands of a fairy). Meanwhile Franca is becoming more successful and more masculine. She also gets a same sex admirer.
Like most of Pozzettto's pictures, 'Mani di Fata' is pretty politically incorrect by today's standards, but not terrible offensive to anyone in particular. Most, if not all of the jokes are on the main character (the so called Benny Hill philosophy). Things come to a head when Andrea and Franca visit their son Mariolino, whom they have been forced to send to boarding school. By happenstance he is forced to wear clothes borrowed from his gay admirer, while she has taken to wearing a suit and smoking cigars (the sure sigh of success in the eighties). The moral of the story (although hardly touched upon during the picture) seems to be 'never neglect your children for your work'.