Marcello (Marcello Mastroiano) has worked hard all his life to achieve a certain standing and success as a lawyer in Rome. He is pleased to be able to offer the fruits of his success to his son Michele (Massimo Troisi), and is perplexed and distressed that his unambitious son has no interest in any of these things. Michele is serving a term in the Italian military in the port town of Civitavecchia, and Marcello is visiting him there. Here he meets Michele's salty girlfriend Loredana (Anne Parillaud). The father and son share some meals and explore their differences. Though at first it appears that these two men will not be able to tolerate one another, they eventually decide to live and let live.
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