In my quest to understand the true nature of Italian comedies, I look to my favorite comedy trio, Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo. Aldo Baglio, Giovanni Storti and Giacomo Poretti are the italian stars of stage, screen, and TV, and have been together and making people laugh since the ’80s. Their most recent La Banda Dei Babbi Natale (The Santa Claus Gang) is their best work to date and has become one of my “must watches” at Christmas time, along with White Christmas and Elf.
They started their movie careers in 1997 with Tre Uomini e una Gamba, Three Men and a Leg and it turned out to be sort of sleeper that took Italy by surprise and did pretty well at the box office. These guys aren’t really actors, but they’ve gotten a lot better over the years. In Tre Uomini e una Gamba their inexperience shows, but so does the chemistry between the three comics and their sharp wit. The movie has lots of flaws, but it’s funny, even with the totally inappropriate reference to the Kennedy assassination at the beginning of the movie and the worst soundtrack ever.
It’s about three guys who work for their father-in-law’s hardware store in Milan, two are married to two of the daughters and they are taking the third on a predictably disastrous road trip to marry a third daughter. It’s part The Hangover, part Sideways, and a little National Lampoon’s Vacation thrown in a little too gratuitously, although I’d like to point out that Three Men and a Leg predated Hangover and Sideways. You know the minute Chiara shows up that someone’s not getting married – I’m not giving anything away.
(Chiara: “So you’re getting married tomorrow?” Giacomo: “Yeah, but it’s nothing serious.”)
Chiara, played by the cute and hilarious Marina Massironi from Pane e Tulipani, was once married to Giacomo and is the perfect pretty girl tag-a-long for the trio’s road trip.