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Two lonely people meet and unexpectedly get involved in the strangest of love relationships. Both of them are burdened by complicated sentimental baggage, which won't make their love story precisely easy. This is basically the plot of every romantic comedy, and "Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena" is no exception.
Considering that this is a genre I particularly like, the premise is not as important as the film's atmosphere, the performances of the leading couple and the feelgood effect of the compulsory happy ending. In this case "Cosas que hacen que la vida valga la pena" works in some of these aspects, but fails to deliver in some others.
To put things straight, the best part of the movie is the charming leading couple. Ana Belén, who should be working more, is especially remarkable in her quirky turn as Hortensia, while Eduard Fernández (Jorge) keeps up with her for most of the time. Their performances might be irregular at times, but they make such a great couple that any possible flaw is easily forgotten.
Although the quality of the film is above standard, I could not fail to feel that something had gone wrong with this. I was particularly disappointed by the screenplay, which is generally the best part of Gómez Pereira's comedies. For one thing, character archs are mostly implausible and difficult to explain. Even with the excessive use of voice-over, the viewer fails to sympathize with the characters and understand their decisions. Besides, the plot centers itself so much on the leading couple that the great supporting cast (María Pujalte, Carlos Kaniowski and specially José Sacristán) are left with little more than a few scenes each. Maybe focusing a little on the relationship between Jorge and his father would have helped make the character more real.
I wouldn't like to finish my comment without mentioning the outstanding soundtrack, which features a few of the best Spanish songs ("Noches de bohemia" and "Princesa", for example) and a nice original song performed by Pasión Vega.
In a nutshell, this is a feel-good movie that has a little for everybody, but specially for those who love every kind of romantic comedies.
Overall rating: 6/10
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