Macaroni is a mild comedy drama teaming the formidable talents of Jack Lemmon and Marcello Mastroianni. Lemmon toplines as Bob Traven, a v.p. visiting Naples as a consultant to Aeritalia. It’s his first time back since 1946 when, as a GI, he was stationed there.
An acquaintance from that period, Antonio Jasiello (Marcello Mastroianni) looks Traven up and takes the at-first unwilling (too busy) American around town to meet the family and friends.
Jasiello has been surreptitiously writing letters using Traven’s name over the years to his own sister Maria, who had a brief romance in 1946 with the American. She’s long since been married and now has adult grandchildren.
Relying too heavily on its two stars, at first abrasive adverseries but later best of friends as Lemmon unbends to Mastroianni’s exuberant joie de vivre, Macaroni rarely achieves the comedic heights of director Ettore Scola’s previous work. There simply isn’t an abundance of funny situations or witty dialogue here.
English language film is hampered by the dialogue, with merely okay readings by Mastroianni, artificial dubbing of Isa Danieli as his emphatic wife and rote, direct-sound speeches by Daria Nicolodi as Aeritalia’s p.r. officer.