CAN: Vicky Cristina Barcelona


Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson
Review by Deke Richards

PLOT:  A romantic comedy about two young female American tourists visiting Barcelona , who are drawn into a series of unconventional romantic entanglements with a local charismatic painter.

CRITIQUE: Alright. So I get off the plane, straight from Montreal and before I could say Vive la France , The Arrow sends my jet-lagged self out to see a film for review. It happens to be a Woody Allen film. Hey, not bad for my first assignment. It had been a while since I had seen one of his flicks. 

After all I was always a fan of the “Allen Man” (as I call him), specially his early work like “Bananas” (You got to love Stallone’s cameo in it), “Crime and Misdemeanors” and even “Deconstructing Harry.” And taking into account VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA's subject matter (two shameless sex driven hot chicks played by Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz), I expected great things from this one.

Like all Woody Allen movies, his characters were in the forefront here. They were well developed, always compelling and highly amusing. That resulted in me getting some good laughs at the expense of the circumstantial humor at hand, mostly centered around the great Javier Bardem and the cute Penelope Cruz. Cruz actually deserves my added kudos for this role! She literally stole the show as the insane jealous ex-wife. I loved the "her crashing Johansson's and Bardem's soiree" scene. Very funny!

The solid use of the Barcelona locations also contributed to my enjoyment of the film. Often enough I felt like I was gawking at a moving postcard. And last but certainly not least, I really appreciated the hot little lesbian kissing scene between Scarlett Johansson and Cruz. I'm sure that bit is what  got the movie green lit to begin with. If not well... I certainly would of green lit it just for that!! But even with all those fine qualities on display, I didn't get much else out of the picture. The storyline around the layered characters was somewhat thin and mundane and girl on girl  fun aside, nothing really stood out to knock me out. A light version of  "Annie Hall" is the best way I could describe this one - Woody Allen’s 1977 Oscar winning classic, that also examined the ups and downs of relationships. 

Basically when the film was over and the credits started rolling, I said to myself: "That's it?". The stakes were just too low even, for a light hearted story like this one. In my opinion this feature was missing a third act and by result it was lacking. Then again, Woody Allen wrote a play called “GOD” written in two acts which kind of explains this structure to a certain degree. Doesn't mean I have to like it. All in all, if you like a good character driven story, with some visually soothing "National Geographic" like shots, sumptuous cinematography and a steamy lesbian scene, well this one might be for you. But if you like ample depth in your storylines from the “Allen Man,” go old school and see “Annie Hall” again (or “Bananas”)!

Rating: 6/10

Source: JoBlo.com



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