Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Giuseppe Berto (it won both the prestigious Viareggio and Campiello literary awards), Monicelli’s film does not attempt to reproduce the book’s complicated and experimental narrative form. His approach ensures a balance between audience enjoyment and the challenging subject matter, by breaking through the often forced boundaries that separate comedy and drama, with the mocking and bitter tone that is so characteristic of his best work. The film has a truly neurotic and hypochondriac feel, a mix of irony and tragedy, supported by an unbridled performance by Giancarlo Giannini.
A writer suffering from a variety of neuroses, attempts suicide and makes a complete mess of his love life. A psychoanalyst helps him to understand the root cause of his problems. But will he be able to make a full recovery?