Nothing Left to Do but Cry (1984) Poster

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Amazingly fresh - unrepeatable
opossumd21 October 2005
Totally unawares, Saverio, a teacher and Mario, a janitor of the same school in which they both work, travel back in time and find themselves in central Italy at the end of the 15th century. They carry with them an unresolved squabble concerning Saverio's sister, creating a lot of tension between the two, which will increase in the plot. From this moment on they will have to come to grips with the grotesque situation they find themselves in, trying to "hitch a lift" back to the future in a most outlandish way, using and misusing their foresight of the events taking place round that time, and generally making fools of themselves in the eyes of "normal" renaissance folks. Their meeting with Leonardo da Vinci is hysterical, when they become more and more convinced that the genius is in reality a moron. Another character they meet is Savonarola the heretic, who enjoins them to repent, before he is taken to the stake, eliciting some breezy comment from them. If it weren't for a weird kind of homesickness, they would quite enjoy living in this period, full of daring fashions and tantalising damsels.

The couple shows great chemistry and is funny in every respect. The psychology of their characters is complex and credible - for once comical roles with a depth. Basically, Saverio is an embittered petit-bourgeois forever attracted and rejected by women, envious of Mario, an easy-going proletarian every woman falls in love with. Saverio is scheming, mean and vindictive as much as Mario is naive, generous and forgiving. What a match of talents: Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi at the peak of combined creativity. Too bad they will never come back together for another joint venture. Or maybe it is better this way: masterpieces of this level cannot be improved on, at best they can be imitated. For this reason Non ci resta che piangere will shine like a gem in the crown of the best Italian movies of all times. Sadly not many people seem to have seen it, not even in Italy, where the viewers do not need subtitles to enjoy the hilarious juggling of the two actors with the language, but their body language can be universally appreciated.

If you miss it you will have to repent!
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a jewel
p13r026 January 2004
Two actors at their best (Roberto Benigni before he became big-headed after the world wide fame and the late lamented Massimo Troisi) playing a strange story, where these two young modern men wake up in 1492 after spending a night out because their car broke down.

Settled in the italian reinassance, pretty well depicted despite the low budget used, the movie is substantially a collection of sketches based on the struggles that the two men must fight against the different lifestyle, with some secondary stories based on historical personages lived in that time (Savonarola, Columbus, Da Vinci). This is one of the most beloved italian movie of all the times, and everybody saw this movie can remember all of the most famous dialogues (Vitellozzo after the death of his brother, the "remember that you shall die!" speech, the scene at the customs, and many others) by hearth, as they were funny and innovative.

Directed with a very slow rhythm, that adds a quite poetic touch to the story, this movie must be considered as a small masterpiece, a comedy unique of its kind. Comparing this with one of the later italian comedy should be done to understand the meaning of the term "good taste".

Unluckily, anybody without a very fluent italian can't completely enjoy this movie, because a big part of the funny side of this movie follows from the two heavy accents of the two main actors, mainly the one of Troisi.
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Mario and Saverio from 1980s inexplicably find themselves in 1492...
mostrefest5 February 2005
Non ci resta che piangere is an amazing movie. The plot may seem a bit improvised, but that movie is much more than just an excuse for some hilarious gags. It contains all the philosophy of Benigni and Troisi, and presents all the different aspects and approach to life of Neapolitans and fiorentini personalities, away from stereotypes (as usual!). It is one of the funniest movies ever, and still, it makes me cry (maybe because I can't help thinking about Troisi, Napoli's best artist of the late XX century). It is a movie many people should see, but when I travel overseas I find it almost impossible to find in rental shops, or wherever.
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Simply excellent
pneruda2 February 2002
One of the best comedies ever done in the film history. Benigni and Troisi a couple that can hardly be repeated. Money doesnt necessarily make great films...and great films do not always need loads of money. This is a great example.
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AleGenoa4 February 1999
Sadly, the only occasion we had to see together two of the best italian actors of the century: Benigni and Troisi. Anyway, it's a comedy: there's nothing else to do, but laugh.
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Two comic genius's at work
citronrd14 February 2010
Great premise. Great writing. Great acting. A must for fans of both actor/writer/directors who acted in, wrote and co-directed this delightful fantasy. Who has not imagined what would have happened if the Europeans, in this case Christopher Columbus, had no interest in finding the new world or even a new route to India? It's a joy to watch these two men at work. Too bad it's not available in English. In any case, it's worth watching on DVD, so you can pause and replay until you get the subtleties of the writing and the performances. American producers have remade a number Italian classics and neo-classics (often botching the job). However I hope that somewhere within the US film industry there exists a producer/director/writer team capable of making an English language version of Non ci Resta che Piangere without losing its heart. If not, it just gives the rest of you yet another reason to learn Italian. Fair warning though. Troisi is not so easy to understand for those not somewhat used to hearing la lingua italiana as spoken in the outskirts of Naples (San Giorgio a Cremano).
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Searching for Columbus
petra_ste23 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best Italian comedies after the great cycle of the Sixties/Seventies, the film's greatest assets are its leads, Roberto Benigni before his Oscar days and the late, greatly missed Massimo Troisi.

In this time-travel comedy the two main characters are magically transported to 1492. Saverio (Benigni), school teacher and history buff unhappy with his previous life, is ecstatic and strives to exploit the situation, while meek janitor Mario (Troisi) is terrified by violence, fanaticism and lack of hygiene.

Benigni is hilariously vital and overbearing, jumping around as if hit by 10.000 volts; Troisi is priceless as the whiny, dejected fish out of water.

The first two acts crackle with wit and inventions. The best moments occur when Saverio and Mario start exploring the town, the former pompously strutting around, the latter inching his way through the streets. There is a great homage to the letter scene of Totò, Peppino e la... Malafemmina, and a clever bit where the two ponder which modern inventions they could produce and desultorily conclude they could maybe manage to craft some sort of rudimentary toilet.

Unfortunately, after a memorable encounter with an unexpectedly thick Leonardo da Vinci, the movie loses a bit of its comedic momentum - although the very ending is a stroke of genius.

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From the genius of Troisi and Benigni, an excellent movie!
Draco_oshi14 March 2005
"Non ci resta che piangere" is definitely a piece of art, directed by two of the most important Italian comedy writers: Benigni and Troisi. This is the work of a Napolitan and a Tuscan comic put together to make a film that'll make you laugh from its start and if you start, you'll never stop.

The plot is very simple: Mario and Saverio, a teacher and a janitor in an elementary school, find them in the year 1492 and it is the origin of all the funny situations you'll find in the movie.

The language used by Mario and Saverio is Italian, but Mario uses a typical Naples accent and Saverio it's using his Tuscan influence, so the language they use is crucial to the final meaning of the movie.

In the original version there was an additional scene, that the directors had to cut off when publishing the movie, despite this the movie is still very funny, and is its freshness, its lack of bad words what makes it a good comedy and a good film.

Ending, I think this movie is one of the best ever produced in Italy, but unfortunately, due to its dialectal language and the direct speech it can't be translated to other languages.
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Rare masterpiece
arrobarriba12 May 2015
A real masterpiece by Benigni and Troisi. The plot is very simple and there are no special effects. However, what earns this book a place in history books is the outstanding acting performance of these two comedians. You can see from the beginning that most of the sketches are improvisations; their acting is so natural and clean. The reason why it did not gain international recognition is because it cannot possibly transmit the same emotions with with subtitles. Translation becomes nonsense in a movie that is so culturally-bound. I wish I could recommend it to everybody, but I must say that you really need to understand Italian plus some Neapolitan and Florentine dialect in order to appreciate it in its entirety. Besides, you also need to know a little bit about the culture and history of Italy. In Italy, this was, is and will always be an outstanding piece of art.
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I guess you have to be Italian to like it
siderite9 April 2007
The comedy is not bad, but I wouldn't call it a good one, whatever you say. Maybe I missed something, while trying to follow the Naples and Toscany accents and reading subtitles in proper Italian (that weren't word for word translations), but it seemed really average to me.

The humor is unequal, though, some things are really funny, while most of the movie felt boring. The low budget Italian film feeling also didn't help, reminding me of those horrible "Princess dresses in boy's clothes and saves her magical cardboard kingdom" films, if you know what I mean.

The movie was recommended by an Italian friend of mine, and he is not stupid, so maybe being Italian helps a lot with this film.
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One of the most boring films ever!
rodrig5824 July 2018
I like the Italians, most of all, but I do not like Massimo Troisi and Roberto Benigni, for me are the most annoying actors ever. Troisi, you do not understand what he says, in all the films he speaks in a kind of dialect that only he understands. In all the movies is the same, boring at the top. You got to have a great deal of steel patience and great love for cinema to watch this movie in its entirety. Troisi and Benigni, who are also directing, are not genius and are not funny at all.
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Very good!!!
robertofuiano29 January 2009
If this movie was Spielberg would have had more. Since these strontium on the assumption that a film must be beautiful to be directed by big names like Spielberg, Lucas, Jackson, Cameron. .. All these assessments are wrong you understand the level of bad opinion of this site. Only films for intellectuals can be saved. This film was produced with many dollars and the optimal use of special effects make the place as among the best science fiction film Americans. Finitela of using double standards when judged as a movie, try to be objective because they give 3.8 a film of its kind and reward a crap how terrible sin city with 8.2 is really a 'offense. Vote 10
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