By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
One of the more lauded Foreign Language Films of the year is this, a tale of an older divorcee who refuses to give up on love, and who still has plenty of energy for paintball and other young people stuff.
Then Taye Diggs’s abs happen or something
I was expecting typical crowd-pleasing fare, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a bit of real drama and an excellent, fearless (i.e., naked a lot… and pleasantly so) performance from Paulina Garcia. This is her film, and she carries it excellently, coming off like a more pragmatic (so, realistic) Sally Hawkins from Happy Go Lucky. There is also some good filmmaking on display here, particularly a late night binge with a gorgeous playground spinning wheel scene that ends up in pretty much the same place as Season 1 of Girls did.
For far too long, nothing resembling a conflict happens. Even the exes love each other’s company apparently. Also, if the purpose of the conversations is to make you think less of these characters, mission accomplished. They’re worse than teenagers, spouting inanities meant to impress each other.
When the conflict does come, everybody’s still acting like teens with a surfeit of hormones and a dearth of compassion and common sense. Gloria’s boyfriend undisputedly pulls a dick move, but honestly she’s kind of a bitch, too, with her childish reliance on the silent treatment and passive-aggressive moves like dropping his phone in his soup. I would have thought long and hard about ditching her ass at that point, too.
The aging and mortality symbolism is pretty belabored at times.
There’s some quality workmanship and particularly acting on display here, but if I wanted proof that many people never get past teenage bullshit in their relationships, five minutes on Facebook accomplishes the same thing.
Take a Drink: whenever we’re reminded Gloria is lonely
Take a Drink: whenever the cat shows up (the physical manifestation of loneliness)
Take a Drink: for 70s music
Do a Shot: for old people sex, of course