Monday, June 27, 2005

El Otro Lado de la Cama

Not so much Pedro Almodóvar-lite as musical Milan Kundera.

The critics over here panned this movie, and from watching the subtitles I could generally see why. (OK, the songs aren't that great either.) So much depends on gesture, intonation, colourful vocabulary and cultural references. I wouldn't have thought that either Bend it Like Beckham or Shaun of the Dead go down that well in Madrid either.

By my reckoning Y Tu Mama Tambien for example, lost about 30% of its wit in translation. It just happened to feature a set of such comically-pregnant situations that it ultimately didn't matter than much.

The Other Side of the Bed has been accused of being thematically unoriginal - well, my aunt and uncle got it together this way too, drawn into each other's arms when they discovered that their respective spouses had hooked up. Maybe that was unoriginal of them, but the fact is that these webs of friendship, attraction, love and deceit are a resilient feature of adult life.

In some ways this is a more joyful version of Closer, though writer David Serrano chose to do what Marber avoided: include auxilliary characters whose own interactions connect to and compound the main two couple drama.

I enjoyed taxista Rafa's observation that ex-girlfriends are better than girlfriends in that they last for life, and the way his cereberal chum Carlos can never really get more than a couple of words in during their group's bar-room tertulios.

There's a sequel in post-production - Los Dos Lados de La Cama.

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