Valentino is an Ex Aldult film star very much in love with his girlfriend Mary Carmen....and boyfriend Gary. Things take a tragic turn when Valentino is rushed to the hospital after ... See full summary »
Based on the Nobel Prize Winner's novel, the Egyptian Naguib Mahfouz. The story, translated from El Cairo to Mexico City's downtown, narrates the life of the members of the neighbourhood ... See full summary »
Ernesto Gómez Cruz,
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Valentino is an Ex Aldult film star very much in love with his girlfriend Mary Carmen....and boyfriend Gary. Things take a tragic turn when Valentino is rushed to the hospital after collapsing on a city street and is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS...Forcing Mary Carmen and Gary to push aside their jealousy & differences to take care of the man they both love while he is dying. Ultimately finding comfort, understanding, and strength in the other. A beautiful modern love story with a fantastic cast. Vincent D'Onofrio is very charismatic, charming, and intense as Valentino..... Written by
It's painful to watch competent actors slumming in this movie. You know they are reaching for something "cool" and knowing, when what they ultimately grab at is something infantile and delusional. This is probably the writer James Still's point: that these people need to look death in the face and grow up. But it's such a mundane point.
If death is all around you, if the people you know are dropping like flies, and you figure the remedy is to get along with the people who are left (because they may be gone tomorrow) and have children of your own (so you feel death has not defeated you), why stay among people whose habits issue in death? Why impose the specter of sexual caution and responsibility, when what makes the people in this movie who they are flies in the face of this appeal? I don't think the main characters Valentino, Mary Carmen, and Gary form a bisexual triangle, because they want to lead wary, conventional lives. The thought presented here that bisexuality can be the common ground on which homosexuals and heterosexuals can come together is sly pontificating, and when you consider the way the camera languishes over the liplock Vincent D'Onofrio is made to plant on Thomas Jane, you get the feeling that the heterosexual side is taking a back seat to the flip side of the triangle.
This really seems like Gary's story anyway; Selma Hayek is trying much too hard to garner some respect and dignity for Mary Carmen for it to be hers. Director Dan Ireland should have pulled her in more; it might have done wonders for her big moment, when she lip-syncs to Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." It's supposed to suggest the strength of her attachment to her lover, but Hayek hasn't been asked to play it deeply. She declaims everything, so what she emotes spreads out too thinly.
It's Thomas Jane's reticence that convinces us of whom the story favors. When his body surrenders to Valentino on the dance floor, or his eyes roll back with Valentino's teeth in his neck, or he broods quietly when Valentino and Mary Carmen are sharing intimacies, the sexual undercurrent he creates pulls you under with great impetus. This must be what Still means by Gary's velocity. At least that is what I figure. But if I happen to be wrong, what in blazes does that pretentious title mean?
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