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Ted, a stuffy white guy from Illinois working in sales for the Barcelona office of a US corporation, is paid an unexpected visit by his somewhat less stuffy cousin Fred, who is an officer in the US Navy. Over the next few months, both their lives are irrevocably altered by the events which follow Fred's arrival, events which are the trivial stuff of a comedy of manners at first but which gradually grow increasingly dramatic. Written by
Tim Horrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Cameo: Whit Stilman on the dance floor at the disco club along with cinematographer John Thomas and a few of the camera crew in the opening shot as dancing extras during the dance number 'You've Got What It Takes' just before Ted and Montserrat arrive. Stillman is the one on the extreme left looking into a teleprompter just off-camera (identifiable from the shining white light from the teleprompter screen). See more »
When Fred and Ted are driving through Barcelona early in the film, Ted's driving barely matches the direction the car is moving. See more »
I couldn't believe Fred would just show up like that. On the other hand, it was absolutely typical.
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Back when I wasn't really into buying films on video, I bought this one. The humor is subtle, understated, ironic, and tremendously well-written. It is just ending as I write this. Every time I see it I notice a few more things that make me laugh. None of it is the shocking, laugh-out-loud style of humor, but there are several intellectual chuckles.
For some people, it will seem too intellectual and therefore it will strike them as pretentious. That is not a criticism at all, only a warning. I don't find it pretentious at all.
The best part is the interesting characters. They are written as complete, well-developed people who have wildly different outlooks on Spain-U.S. relations. While Whit Stillman does a great job of analyzing these relations, the central focus of the movie is how these characters relate to each other in the arena of these larger ethnic relations.
I firmly believe that anyone who enjoys dialogue-driven, non-action-oriented films will love this one. I gave it a "10."
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