In a small Brazilian seaside village a fussy, conceited wine merchant, feared because of his wealth and influence but ridiculed in private for his childish vanity, learns for the first and only time in his life the frustrations of true love after meeting the enigmatic (and already married) young woman of the film's title. Like other features in the series of 'Amores Dificiles' adapted from the stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author's celebrated magic realism is everywhere in evidence, and as a result the film is top heavy with hidden meanings and opaque symbolism, but lightened considerably by its playfully unreal style, from the exaggerated manners of its protagonist on down to the synthetic orchestral music score. The element of fantasy deflates the impact of the drama (since every role is either a caricature or a daydream) but scene for scene it can't help but hold the viewer's attention.
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