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 ...
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After college graduation, Grover's girlfriend Jane tells him she's moving to Prague to study writing. Grover declines to accompany her, deciding instead to move in with several friends, all... See full summary »
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>
When Fred is called a "fascist" by some local young men because of the uniform he is wearing, he angrily responds with, "Men wearing this uniform died ridding Europe of fascism!" While this is true, he is missing a larger point. Men wearing that uniform did rid Europe of two fascist dictators (Hitler and Mussolini), because Spain had remained nominally neutral, Franco was left in place as the fascist military dictator of Spain where he stayed until his death in 1975, still within the memory of the characters in the film. During the Spanish Civil War, Franco and Mussolini had bombed Barcelona, targeting civilian areas killing thousands. After gaining control, he was especially repressive of (culturally and linguistically distinct) Catalonia, the region of which Barcelona is the capitol, suppressing (often brutally) the language, culture, and Catalonia's political autonomy. Fred's response might even engender more resentment than gratitude. 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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Excruciatingly bad excuse for a comedy? romance? movie?
Okay, the good stuff first.
1) Pretty location, although we don't get to see very much of it. In an early scene, the two characters (the rest are just extras) go on a car tour of Barcelona, but except for the first stop, all we ever get to see is their blank faces inside the car. Talk is cheap; film is expensive.
2) Beautiful young women, several of them, but they are never given any significant dialogue, nor are they actually called upon to act. They walk on. They walk off. Occasionally one or another of them hops into the sack with one or the other cousin, pretty much interchangeably, and with no discernible passion or emotion. Not their fault, of course. It's the director, stupid, who evidently thinks of women the same way as did a lascivious architect I worked for in the 1960s -- as part of the decor.
And that was the good stuff.
This piece of work would have failed as the pilot for a sitcom. The whole thing is a running bicker between two snappish, immature, American preppie cousins. To borrow a line from Dorothy Parker, their performances "ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B." I knew (and loathed) guys like this in college, full of their vanity, their boarding school repartee, their shallow ignorance of the world, and their cool disdain for the people -- especially the women -- who tried to care about them. I suppose one should not blame the actors, since presumably they were delivering the performances the director asked for, while said director clearly was not busy offering guidance to any of the other performers. Yes, sadly, these two characters are somewhat realistic, but puerile poseurs are no fun to watch, either on or off the screen. 4/10
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