Roberto Benigni is like that friend you try to avoid at parties: he’s the only one laughing at his own jokes and he tells a lot of them. Unfortunately, Benigni’s latest, The Tiger and the Snow, is overpowered and ultimately pulled down by too many of these moments. Benigni plays a poetry professor, Attilio de Giovanni, who is in love and obsessed with a fellow writer named Vittoria (Nicoletta Braschi). She travels to Baghdad days before the outbreak of the Iraq war, in order to work with Fuad (Jean Reno), Iraq’s poet laureate. Vittoria is involved in an accident and Attilio races to Iraq to care for her. Oh, and Tom Waits supplies the main musical theme and also makes an appearance on camera. If all of this sounds muddled and wildly out of control, that’s because it is. More than Attilio’s love for Vittoria, what is projected through Benigni’s performance is his love for his own shtick.