4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Rubens Junior from Brazil
7 March 2012
Like "O Signo da Cidade" (The Sign Of The City, 2007), "Onde Está A
Felicidade?" (Where Is The Happiness?) was a great surprise. While
their last movie is a drama about the differences between choices and
destiny and a sad point of view of São Paulos city, this one is a
comedy arguing around happiness, where are we supposed to find it and a
hilarious point of view of some people in the world. Both movies were
directed and produced by Carlos Alberto Ricceli and performed, written
and also produced by Bruna Lombardi (Riccelli's wife).
Riccelli and Lombardi are getting better each new work (this is their
3rd movie). Their last attempt was interesting and with a great plot
development, but some elements broke the experience maybe for the
excess of some of its main Brazilian distributor requirements and the
lack of some better acting direction. But seems that Riccelli just
learned from the experience and now did it right because even Globo
Films being the distributor again, Riccelli and Lombardi now seems more
confident in managing some of the issues and flaws that made "O Signo
da Cidade" disappointing in some scenes.
Bruna and Riccelli uses influences of Almodovar and absurd comedy
within their own signatures in a movie with no time setting to tell the
story of Teodora (Bruna Lombardi), a chef that owns a TV program about
erotic food who goes to a pilgrim trip to Santiago de Compostela, in
Spain, after discovering that her husband was having a virtual affair,
and also after receiving the news that her TV program would be canceled
because the network was bought by some evangelic church. Even appearing
to be another simple comedy movie, it has very funny moments and a top
notch production. The great balance between a colorful costume design,
intelligent and uplifting dialogs together with a so magical pilgrim
trip as Santiago make the movie a fresh and delightful thing to watch.
Performed by actors from several countries, all of them have their own
importance and the guest appearances are placed correctly and in the
right moments. Also they are very well directed and some actors or
characters that could be annoying never is exactly for the fact that,
differently from his last movie, now seems that Riccelli gave more
attention for the actors than just trying to make perfect technical
scenes. The dialogs are very interesting and few are the moments that
you are bored by them. I'm not a fan of Bruno Garcia (as Nando), famous
in Brazilian soap operas, but he did a great job in the movie and his
scenes never exceeds the necessary. Bruna Lombardi never was a great
actress, but as in "O Signo da Cidade", she once again gives one of her
best performances to date, far better from the ones provided in the
past in Brazilian soap operas.
Of course that the movie wouldn't be what it is if wasn't for its
screenplay. Bruna Lombardi stated several times that she went to Los
Angeles to specifically study and improve her screen writing process.
And she learned the lesson well. Her writing is so rich and full of
details that while I was watching the movie I could almost read it.
Sometimes a little too long in its almost 120 minutes, maybe and only
the main problem of entire movie, but Bruna and Riccelli are getting
their tone right and becoming a great influence in Brazilian cinema,
and I'm sure that their love and dedication as movie makers will
present us in the future with amazing surprises.
P.S: attention for the songs, most of them were also written by
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