Synopsis by Mark Deming
Dominated by a cast of newcomers, this comedy of errors from director Paolo Virzi aims for both laughter and poignance. Three factory workers who lose their jobs when their employer closes shop decide to join forces and open an ostrich ranch, in hopes that ostrich meat will find favor on Italian dinner tables. Elsewhere, Mario, a restaurateur, is suicidally depressed over the collapse of both his business and his marriage. Renato, leader of the ostrich ranchers, discovers his sister is romantically involved with a government councilor, also named Mario, who could approve state financing that would keep their business afloat. Renato dumps every penny he has into an elaborate party in hopes of impressing the councilor, but when he goes to the train station, he picks up the restaurant owner instead, who is so dazed by pills and exhaust fumes that he's not sure where he is. Italian television comic Massimo Gambacciani makes his film debut here, one of only two experienced actors in the cast.
factory-worker, ostrich, ranch, unemployment, party, government-official, boyfriend, restaurant, sister