My Friends (Italian: Amici miei) is an Italian comedy series of three films. The first was released in 1975, the last in 1985.
It's the story of four (later five) middle-aged men in Florence who, as the title suggests, are very close friends. Most of them have a good job and a family but they don't take them seriously, and being generally bored with their lives, often spend time together to have fun, wandering about the city and pranking (or just annoying) random people.
The films are funny, but have a very bitter and cynical tone and (especially in the first film) a sad and nostalgic atmosphere.
This series provides examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: Especially the first movie that ends with Perozzi's death. All his friends are really saddened by his death, but still find a way to have fun with each other at his funeral.
- Black Comedy Rape: Mascetti's daughter. Not only she is raped (and impregnated) by an older sleazy co-worker, she's also yelled at, ridiculed and humiliated by her father and his friends because of this ("Puttana!" which means "You whore!"). To make things worse, the girl was heavily implied to be mentally challenged. When Mascetti goes to confront the rapist, he finds out he's a huge menacing guy, which makes it all really funny because he can't kick his ass, so the rapist gets off scot-free. Most likely a case of Values Dissonance, as the film is rich in sexist and other politically incorrect jokes.
- Butt-Monkey: All the victims of their pranks. Also Melandri becomes one to the rest of the group once a movie, usually when a woman is involved.
- Dr. Jerk: Sassaroli is a surgeon who meets the rest of the group in the hospital for the first time. He immediately gets back at them when they try to prank him. They realize that he is a cynical Jerkass just as much as them and, after a while, he officially becomes the fifth member of the group.
- Flanderization: The pranks become more cruel and mean-spirited in the second movie, compared to the pranks of the first movie.
- Four-Man Band:
- The Hero Dies: Perozzi (the narrator) at the end of the first movie. He becomes a Posthumous Character in the second movie and appears in many flashbacks. He's not even mentioned in the third movie.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Some versions of the movie re-cut for TV broadcast often drop the scene where Mascetti finds his mistress Tiziana in bed with another woman, who then humiliates him by comparing his and her new girlfriend's lovemaking skills.
- Impoverished Patrician: Mascetti is a nobleman who has literally spent all his inheritance and his wife's inheritance. Now he doesn't work and has no money to support his family, but he's still as proud as ever. He even refuses financial help from his friends.
- Last-Name Basis: The five friends refer to each other only by their last names.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Shamelessly. Let's just say, if you are feminist, don't bother watching these movies.
- The Prankster: All the titular friends find fun in pulling pranks on random strangers.
- Serial Romeo: Melandri falls in love with a different woman in all three movies but apparently keeps Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.
- True Companions: The friendship between five men is the main theme of the movies. None of the five is a nice person, but they are true friends who will always stick together.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: All the main characters are amoral, sexist, and downright malicious. They all cheat on their wives (except Melandri who is not married) and have no respect for anyone.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: As one would expect from a group of Jerkasses. Despite the "vitriolic" part, they still have a strong bond and a sort of Undying Loyalty for the other friends.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Like the rest of the group, Perozzi is a Manchild who likes pranking people. His son is extremely hard-working, humorless, and serious. They hate each other.
- With Friends Like These...: The main "friends" are mainly jerks to other people, but they are not above teasing and picking on each other, even in serious situations. When Mascetti's daughter was raped, his friends acted like it was a joke.
- Word-Salad Humor: One of the most famous pranks is Mascetti's "Supercazzola". He often says nonsensical things, using real words mixed with invented words ("antani" being the most common one), to mock and confuse the person he's talking to.