Fellini's first solo directorial project is as Woody Allen put it, "The perfect little comedy". I agree completely. This is a small, funny, clean little movie, and Fellini's tiny masterpiece. Every second of this movie belongs where it does. Sure, you can munch on some giant movies like La Dolce Vita, and 8 1/2, but this movie's a little Fellini snack, which shows just what he is capable of, and an underrated gem.
Sweet stuff: neat, clean and naively charming. The bounce of this early bloom contrasts sharply with the grotesquery of later films, yet one can still see the honest - not yet jaundiced - eye on humanity with all our foibles and pretensions laid out with kindness. Rota is straight out of the starting block in typically jaunty mode.
Fellini is an interesting case because his most "Felliniesque" movies aren't necessarily his best, so many newcomers arrive at his more famous later films and get turned off by the heavy style. You have to go back to lighter, early films like this to clearly see what his work was always really about: an exquisitely heartfelt affection for simple minds—for the juvenile, the lustful, and the naive.