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A new literature teacher, Ulises, comes to a small town near the sea and falls in love with a young woman, Martina. This woman is loved by a rich businessman named Alberto but chooses Ulises. Soon after their marriage and the birth of their son, Ulises vanishes while fishing at sea. In the meanwhile Martina marries Alberto, but all is not what it seems... Written by
Bigas Luna's "Son de Mar" is a beautiful love story that is sexy, to boot.
I knew nothing about this film when I rented it. I picked it solely because of its director. Although I am not a huge fan of "Jamón, jamón" (1992), there were moments I enjoyed.
Am I ever glad that I rented this. It's a captivating love story that has two very good performances, including a gloriously sensual turn by Leonor Watling. The film also features some tremendously sexy love scenes, including one without any nudity.
Watling's screen presence is positively hypnotic. She makes Martina utterly believable, a passionate woman who revels in her sexuality and is madly in love with Ulises. Their moments together are poignant and real. The characters are smart, funny, sexy, and we so believe the love between Ulises and Martina that we cannot help but root for them.
Parts of this film might seem corny due to its soap opera-like plotting. Then again, that's something Luna enjoys doing. And somehow he and his actors make it work.
There are some inexplicable, and perhaps unnecessary moments, including one with an alligator. But they don't detract from the charm of this film. And you've got to hand it to Luna - he knows how to make beautiful women truly sizzle on screen.
This is a film for adults. Thank goodness Europeans still make romantic movies for grown-ups and don't dilute them by catering to the lowest common denominator by turning them into maudlin, conventional, predictable crap like many of Hollywood's romantic comedies.
If you enjoy unconventional love stories, this one is most definitely worth a look.
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