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Thirty-year-old Hlynur still lives with his mother and spends his days drinking, watching porn and surfing the net while living off unemployment checks. A girl is interested in him, but he stands back from commitment. His mother's Spanish flamenco teacher, Lola, moves in with them for Christmas. On New Year's Eve, while his mother is away, Hlynur finds out Lola is a lesbian, but also ends up having sex with her. He soon finds out he and his mother are sharing more than a house. Eventually he must find out where he fits into the puzzle, and how to live life less selfishly. Written by
firstname.lastname@example.org/Peter Brandt Nielsen
Others have rehearsed the plot so here are some general comments.
The best thing about this film is Victoria Abril who is not so much a woman as a force of nature. I must admit I've not seen any of her work with Almodovar, but I was surprised to learn from the DVD filmography that she's been working in European cinema since as long ago as Richard Lester's 1976 "Robin and Marian". She was 40 when this film was made, so hardly a 'toygirl' for the fiftyish mother (although quite a catch, it must be said).
I guess Lola was changed from an Icelandic character to Spanish to draw in the European art-house audience but it's still a decision which works well as she personifies an outside force which arrives and turns Hlynar's world upside down.
The film feels very much like the novel adaptation it is - quite a lot of voice-over and exposition - but there are a number of deadpan cinematic jokes of the Kaurismaki variety, combined with sexual outrageousness in the Almodovar vein. Some of the humour only becomes apparent on repeated viewings; in all the fusion of styles works surprisingly well.
Overall, this probably won't change your life but it's a lot of fun.
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