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The Jokes

A multi-generational cast of well-known Italian comics performs one skit after another in "The Jokes," a mildly amusing but largely forgettable entry from prolific helmer Carlo Vanzina. Punch-lines are invariably weaker than the lead-ups, and the sketches, like many an "SNL" one, outlast their welcome.

With:
With: Gigi Proietti, Carlo Buccirosso, Max Giusti, Biagio Izzo, Massimiliano Cavallari, Bruno Arena, Enzo Salvi, Stefano "Vito" Bicocchi, Chiara Noschese, Dorelia Vasilescu, Simonetta Guarino, Samuela Sardo, Anita Bartolucci, Lorenzo Flaherty, Gaetano Gennai.

A multi-generational cast of well-known Italian comics performs one skit after another in “The Jokes,” a mildly amusing but largely forgettable entry from prolific helmer Carlo Vanzina. Punch-lines are invariably weaker than the lead-ups, and the sketches, like many an “SNL” one, outlast their welcome. Name talent has kept local B.O. strong since pic’s early February release, but these yocks won’t be felling them in any off-shore aisles.

Opening parody of ’50s Italo classic, “Senso,” promises more than it delivers – which can also be said of most other segments. Only the most tenuous of threads links the largely unrelated tales, which cover eve-rything from stereotyped Italian playboys through waiter gags to old standbys like the Italian, Englishman and Frenchman captured by cannibals. Very good Dubya and Queen Elizabeth imitators just about manage to get some laughs from an old fart gag, but the quality rarely gets above that level. Also, several jokes won’t travel – from regional caricatures to Gigi Proietti, the country’s most popular comic, playing God

The Jokes

Italy

Production: A Filmauro release of a Luigi and Aurelio De Laurentiis presentation of an International Video 80 production. Produced by Aurelio De Laurentiis. Directed by Carlo Vanzina. Screenplay, Enrico Vanzina, Carlo Vanzina.

Crew: Camera (Technicolor), Claudio Zamarion; editor, Luca Montanari; music, Andrea Guerra; production designer, Tonino Zera; costume designer, Nicoletta Ercole. Reviewed at Warner Bros. Cinema Moderno, Rome, Feb. 25, 2004. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Gigi Proietti, Carlo Buccirosso, Max Giusti, Biagio Izzo, Massimiliano Cavallari, Bruno Arena, Enzo Salvi, Stefano "Vito" Bicocchi, Chiara Noschese, Dorelia Vasilescu, Simonetta Guarino, Samuela Sardo, Anita Bartolucci, Lorenzo Flaherty, Gaetano Gennai.

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