Nothing Left to Do But Cry

Nothing Left to Do But Cry (Non ci resta che piangere) is a film that has written the history of comedy. Some of its dialogues will be with us forever and will always make us laugh.


Starring Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi, who are also directors and writers of the movie, this 1984 Italian comedy film, has been restored and after 30 years will be screened in cinemas on March. I decided to write about this film because someone asked me “What is you favorite film?”. Impossible to answer, but I had to take a decision and I chose my favorite comedy: Nothing Left to Do But Cry. The fact that it has now been restored and will soon be screening in cinemas again (only in Italy, unfortunately) was another reason for me to share my thoughts about this film.

The film is shaped around the lives of school janitor Mario (Massimo Troisi) and teacher Saverio (Roberto Benigni). Travelling in a car across the Tuscan countryside, they get lost and despite their attempts to change route they suddenly find themselves in 1492. At the beginning they are disbelieving and frightened but they quickly end up adapting to the times. They will live this “time travel” as a way to change the future of humanity, anticipating science discoveries with Leonardo Da Vinci, dissuading the radical catholic bishop Girolamo Savonarola, trying to stop the departure of Cristoforo Colombo from Spain, avoiding the discovery of America and the turmoil of human’s history.
Obviously they won’t be able to realise their plans but their attempts will have a sort of consequence in our contemporary world: the creation of a locomotive by Leonardo Da Vinci.


The spectator will be taken on this incredible trip where every single scene, metaphor, mention is able to make you laugh thanks to the spontaneity and talent of two actors, who are able to create a comedy veiled of melancholy.

Both eclectics and brilliant, Troisi and Benigni are the ideal couple, a perfect fusion of spirits and sublime minds, able to be great individually and outstanding together.

Nothing Left to Do But Cry is certainly not the first movie where a couple of comedians become, for the collective imaginary, the “immortal comedy”, but contrary to other films it has a unique style where the laugh is mixed up with blues and this is, in my opinion, the key that make this film superb. If you are in Italy don’t miss it on the big screen. If you are anywhere else try to find it. Here’s one of my favorite scenes:

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