movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched this with Mark I, Eve C, and her boyfriend Chris Z.

LIMERICK REVIEW: Vicky Cristina Barcelona… And Maria Elena too.
So many hot women… we all wish we’d known all of you.
Our favorite serial killer got laid–
And as an actor he got paid
To do some of the things we all wish we could do too.

HAIKU REVIEW: Woody Allen suuuuucks.
Some of his films are okay…
This was no “Sleeper”.

PEOPLE: Directed by…Woody Allen?? If I’d known that I might not have watched this. Everyone in the room was kind of like “oh no, what did we get ourselves into?” when Allen’s name came up. Javier Bardem (aka the serial killer from the well-filmed and intense but pointless No Country For Old Men). Scarlett Johansson (whose hotness is undeniable but extremely overrated–her face is her worst part). Penelope Cruz (nom nom nom). Rebecca Hall (a relative newcomer) does a good job as Vicky. Also keep an eye out for supporting character Patricia Clarkson, aka the grandma’s sister who took Nate’s virginity in Six Feet Under (also in 5 eps of Frasier), who’s looking really good for her age of 50.

QUIRKS: A 3-way relationship. Really, this was the only reason I watched this.

VISUALS: See cast list :)

MORALS: I’m not sure what the moral was, other than people tend to act within their own nature, which isn’t really news to me.

BAD STUFF: So it all ends because of [highlight for spoilers] a random gunshot? Really? And THAT’S why it didn’t work? Because a toxic ex-lover was too much for Vicky to handle? So basically, scared characters are scared to explore their true feelings and live out a scared life? I’m not too happy with the message. Show the audience something to aspire to instead of a reflection of their own pathetic boundaries.

Also, the voice-overs were kind of weird. I’m very thankful for them, because it probably reduced the movie by 30 minutes at least… But I just kept imagining how much better they would be in the voice of Ron Howard, the Arrested Development narrator.

Also, I had cited that one of my pet peeves with movies (except Splendor) is that whenever there is an alternate relationship — especially a 3-way — that the characters are almost always given a bad fate; a seemingly moral punishment for them daring to live an alternate lifestyle. In this case, [highlight for spoilers] Cristina left the relationship of her own accord. However, her reasons simply weren’t enumerated. “I can’t live like this,” with no real explanation about what the problem was, just seemed like a total cop-out, plot/writing wise. This doesn’t quite squarely fit into my pet peeve, but the effect is really the same: 3-way relationships don’t work, and you get mysteriously punished if you enter into one. No real explanation why — [highlight for spoilers] someone will just get tired and say, “I can’t live like this”. At least it was consistent with her character never knowing what she really wants, so this was slightly different than how it usually plays out. But it still did not play out to my satisfaction. Like Carolyn said, [highlight for spoilers] I wanted a happy ending.

CONCLUSION: This just gets a generic pass from me, like most movies. I’d still have rather watched a comedy / adventure / action / party / college / sci-fi movie (pick any of the above), than a romance.

However — this was still way more interesting than most romance movies… And with far better eye candy and situations. But don’t expect to see much nudity.

On quality of casting, I would give this 8/10. On interestingness for a romance movie, I would give this 7.5/10. It’s just not my type of movie.

RECOMMENDATION: Take your first date on this film to see how she reacts to alternate situations. Otherwise, I’m not sure what the value of this is other than to gawk at Penelope, Scarlett, and Rebecca (and Javier if you are a girl, I guess. Two of us thought he looked like Robert Downey Jr. in this movie, UNLIKE in No Country For Old Men.)

SIMILAR MOVIES: Splendor is like this, but with the sexes reversed, much more lighthearted, and a better ending. But then again, I’ve always liked Gregg Araki better than Woody Alleny.

MOVIE QUOTE: Juan Antonio: “We are meant for each other and not meant for each other. It’s a contradiction.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian & Glen really liked it.

Mood: annoyed
Music: Ween – Allman Sunset