The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #25 January / February 2017
At the Cinema
La Coppia dei Campioni
by Erik Zidowecki
January / February 2017 | 

La Coppia dei Campioni
1h 28min
28 April 2016 (Italy)

Country: Italy
Language: Italian / German / English

This film from Italy, La Coppia dei Campioni, can only really be described as goofy and vulgar. It follows the long comedic tradition of pairing two completely opposite strangers into difficult situations and watching them fight until the learn to like each other.

The participants in this particular pairing are a rich Milanese industrialist, Piero Fumagalli, and a Roman warehouse employee for the same company, Remo Ricci. When a publicity contest in their company selects them both to attend the Champions League Football Final match in Prague, with the expressed mission of returning with a picture of them at the game with the company logo or they are both fired, the stakes are set. They must work together or lose their jobs.

Their first obstacle is their wives. Ricci's wife, Angela, is furious that he is planning to leave her and their son alone while she is pregnant, even if it is only for two days. She tries to force him to stay by going to her mother's, leaving their son, Daniele, alone. But Ricci calls his own mother (from next door) to come stay with Daniele.

Ricci and Fumagalli meet for the first time

Meanwhile, we see that Fumagalli has a self-centered wife, the "Contessa", a doting older daughter, Stella, and a mistress, Connie. He tells his wife that the company is forcing him on the trip while telling his mistress that his aunt has died. In fact, he didn't actually win the contest but forced the real winner, who worked for him, to give him the chosen ticket. Lovely man.

It follows the long comedic tradition of pairing two completely opposite strangers into difficult situations and watching them fight until the learn to like each other.

Ricci and Fumagalli meet at the airport when they are given their tickets, and immediately Fumagalli makes it known he wants nothing to do with Ricci. Their plane trip is cut short by a terrible thunderstorm and they are forced to land in Slovenia.

While Fumagalli is rude and demanding access to a VIP lounge (which the airport doesn't have), Ricci is being friendly and manages to convince two of the flight attendants to go out to dinner with him.

Fumagalli decides to take advantage of the situation and tries to make friends with Ricci so he can join them, but Ricci knows what he is doing and demands money. When all four go out on the date, Fumagalli manages to ruin everything by asking one of the women to have sex with him while she is grieving over her parents getting a divorce.

Fumagalli hooking up, while Ricci declines

When the plane is still unable to fly the next day due to the continuing storm, Fumagalli decides to go by train, and this time, it is Ricci that insists on them sticking together. The story continues on in this fashion, with one travel misstep after another while the men fight and use each other.

Fumagalli is particularly lecherous and uses his money to attract two women, convincing himself they love him while Ricci insists they are hookers. They bet on it, and if Ricci is right, he and his wife will have sex in Fumagalli's house (being much nicer than their own little flat). Of course, they are hookers, and in the morning Ricci finds Fumagalli stripped and handcuffed to a bed, with the women and their pimp having stolen all his money.

Our pair, hitchhiking, after crashing their car

They try to continue by train, but now the railroad is on strike, so they have to rent a car. They manage to get a pink hearse along with some marijuana, pick a fight with some tough guys in a cafe, get chased by one of them wielding a shotgun, and end up with some kids playing football in a field. In this, we learn that the one thing they really have in common is their love of porn.

The pair never makes it to the match, so they know they will be fired. The ending is pretty cliche and of course, they part as friends.

While the movie isn't rated, there are some scenes of topless women, drug use, and plenty of swearing, so if any of those things offend you, I would not advise watching it. Other than that, it's a decent comedy.

Bonding at a smaller football game

For me, it had two factors that might be of interest to others. First, along the trip, they encounter a few different languages. Besides the Italian, there is also English, German, and something I couldn't identify, possible Slovenian.

Secondly, I have never seen so much Italian hand gesturing in any other movie. I think it was probably overdone for comedic effect, but it seemed like the main characters' hands never stopped moving.

Like I said at the start, La Coppia dei Campioni is goofy and vulgar, but I never felt bored or particularly offended while watching it. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give it a 3, as I was entertained but not really drawn in.

At The Cinema - La Coppia dei Campioni
Writer: Erik Zidowecki
• "La Coppia dei Campioni" Internet Movie Databas <>
Combo Produzioni, Notorious Pictures, Produzione Straordinaria

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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