The movie is divided in 4 episodes: “Prime Nozze”, where two upper-class couples ‘combine’ the wedding of their purebred dogs; “Il Dovere Coniugale”, where a man tries in vain to make love to his wife; “Igiene Coniugale”, where a couple participate to a group therapy to discuss about their sexual problems and “La Famiglia Felice”, which takes place in the future, where the institution of marriage is saved thanks to the invention of robots replacing husbands, wives and children. Ugo Tognazzi is the main character of all the episodes.
An agent for a liqueur company, he became involved in the cinema by making short advertising films; later he worked in the production sector and finally in the sale of cinema equipment, moving to Spain. There he met the young humorist Rafael Azcona, with whom he set up an extraordinary, lasting working relationship: the first fruits of their partnership were “El pisito” (1958), “Los chicos” (1959) and “The Little Coach (El cochecito)” (1960), the three “Spanish comedies” marked by a corrosive anti-bourgeois sarcasm. On returning to Italy, Ferreri continued his Spanish theme with “Queen Bee (L’ape regina)” (1963), an anti-Catholic satire in which the institution of matrimony is so fiercely under fire as to unleash the ire of the censor (requiring various cuts in the film and a slight change to the title). He fared no better with “The Ape Woman (La donna scimmia)” (1964), a bitter and lucid parable on the relationships between the sexes, dominated by the exploitation of the weaker sex… read more
This could also be seen as a part 2, in 4 episodes, of Ferreri's L'Ape Regina. Again, it suffered heavy censorship interventions. The italian director is still delving into his own caustic flair for lampooning religion, and marriage as an institution. In the first segment, that 'legal contract' is applied also to dogs, in the last, futuristic,we see families made by humans by buying inflatable partners and children