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Manuel Gómez Pereira
Jose Luis is an executive at his parents underwear factory where his girlfriend Sylvia works on the shop floor. When Sylvia falls pregnant, Jose Luis promises her that he will marry her, most likely against the wishes of his parents. Jose Luis' mother is determined to break her son's engagement to a girl from a lower-class family, and hires Raul, a potential underwear model and would-be bullfighter to seduce Sylvia. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bigas Luna's most noted work in North America, Jamon Jamon is a film that teeters on offensive, but does so with such sweetness and charm that it is hard to resist.
In a plot that only Luna could bring to life, young, sexy Silvia (Penelope Cruz) is engaged to and pregnant by Jose Luis, the son of underwear merchants. Silvia is too lower class for Jose Luis' meddling mother, Conchita, so she hires the young, handsome Raul (Javier Bardem) a worker in a ham factory and wannabe underwear model and bull fighter, to romance her away. But the love starved and still sexy Conchita falls for Raul, while Jose Luis frequents the bordello owned by Silvia's mother. Eventually, the two men duke it out in one of the most unique and bizarre fight scenes ever, beating each other with hams.
This is a dark and weird R-rated soap opera, in which every scene is over the top melodrama, and all characters deliver their lines like they were their last. But it works scene after scene, largely due to the directing and casting. For physical appearance, you won't find a better looking cast anywhere.
Jamon Jamon is challenging because it is so unconventional, but is also enjoyable because of its romance and passion. I enjoy Luna movies immensely and highly recommend this film along with the two that follow, Heuvos de Oro and La teta y la Luna. ***1/2 out of ****.
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