Queens (2005) Poster

(2005)

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10/10
REINAS Resounds with Style, Terrific Writing and a Great Cast : A Winner!
gradyharp6 September 2006
Director Manuel Gómez Pereira has long been respected both in Spain and around the world for his edgy, hilarious, clever and wildly entertaining films. Writing with Yolanda García Serrano he has hit the mark with REINAS ('Queens') not only in taking on controversial subject matter and creating a successful comedy out of politically dangerous topic, but he has also done so by avoiding the usual pitfalls of gay stereotypes, making the focus of this film about Spain's approval of gay marriages not on the men involved, but instead on their mothers - the real Queens.

The story is fairly straightforward (if you will): there is to be a group wedding of gay couples in which three of the couples involved have frantic problems with their mothers' attending. Some of the mothers approve, others despair, others take advantage of the situation to meet their own needs. The effect of these 'double mothers-in-law' on the six men involved is packed with surprises, secrets, bizarre behavior, confessions, manifestations of life patterns less than reputable, and whirling dervish spins on acceptance.

The mothers are portrayed by some of the finest actresses in Spanish cinema: Marisa Paredes portrays Reyes, a famous actress (hysterically identified as Carmen Maura) whose class refuses to accept the cat that her son is marrying her gardener's son; Carmen Maura (yes) plays Magda, the owner of a new hotel chain catering to gays; Verónica Forqué is Nuria, a sex addicted nymphomaniac whose drives don't prevent her form bringing her lusts home to her family; Mercedes Sampietro plays Judge Helena who barely tolerates the effect of a public wedding of her son on her career but ends up being forced to perform the ceremony; and Argentine actress Betiana Blum is Ofelia, a restaurant owner/worker who arrives form Buenos Aires for the wedding with her runabout dog causing antics that threaten her son's relationship. The sons are played to perfection and without the slightest bit of stereotypical behavior we usually encounter in these films by six excellent actors: Gustavo Salmerón, Unax Ugalde, Hugo Silva, Daniel Hendler, Paco León, and Raúl Jiménez.

Manuel Gómez Pereira makes fine use of flashbacks and flash-forwards that enhance the breakneck speed the story needs. There is enough tenderness on the part of every actor to offset the near-slapstick comedy scenes, and in the end the movie leaves the audience with a true sense of celebration - not only for the characters involved in the story but also with the forward movement of human rights in Spain. This is a highly entertaining, polished, classy film that deserves a very wide audience. Grady Harp, September 06
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8/10
Gómez Pereira, back to top form
newland8010 April 2005
Manuel Gómez Pereira was one of the finest Spanish directors in the 90's, with such comedies as "Boca a Boca" or "El Amor Perjudica Seriamente la Salud". His latest projects, however, tanked ("Off Key" was a failure both economically and artistically) or simply didn't deliver ("Cosas que Hacen que la Vida Valga la Pena" was plain and average).

"Reinas" is Pereira's return to top form, with a clever and engaging plot which uses the celebration of the first gay wedding in Spain as a macguffin to tell the story of six gay men who are about to marry and their parents, especially their mothers. The film avoids clichés in an intelligent way, so the gay sons are portrayed as people from different social strata and conditions. The actors also avoid the affected mannerisms with which gays are often portrayed in cinema. Special mention to Gustavo Salmerón in a fine performance, although the rest are also very good.

However, the film belongs to the mothers. They are in fact the "queens" the title refers to. Pereira has been lucky enough to assemble a bunch of our greatest actresses: Carmen Maura, Marisa Paredes, Mercedes Sampietro and Verónica Forqué. Betiana Blum, an unknown Argentinean actress, is, however, the standout with her over-the-top character, Ofelia.

The story is very nice plot-wise and treats gay love stories in the same way it treats straight love stories. The screenplay manages a few laughs from the audience, and it is so action-packed that you never loose your attention from the film. The only flaw I can find is that it ends so abruptly that some of the story lines are left unexplained and some character arcs end up being implausible.

In any case, I found the film highly satisfying and very entertaining, so if you like spending two hours with a good comedy you won't feel disappointed.

Overall rating: 8/10
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7/10
Fashionable Theme, Funny Entertainment
claudio_carvalho29 August 2006
In Spain, a couple of days before a collective gay wedding, the lives of five mothers, whose sons will get married, are entwined: Judge Helena (Mercedes Sampietro) is in charge of the ceremony; the entrepreneur in hotel business Magda (Carmen Maura) is hosting the guests in her hotel and is responsible for the banquet, while facing a strike leaded by her lover and chef; the nymphomaniac Nuria (Verónica Forqué) is facing problems due to her uncontrollable disease; the wealthy Reyes (Marisa Paredes) is having a crush for the father of her son's mate and her gardener; and the Argentinean cooker Ofelia (Betiana Blum) is facing financial problems and difficulties in the relationship with her son's mate. Along three days, they have complicated relationships with their sons and mates, ex-husbands, lovers and employees.

"Reinas" is a nice movie based on a fashionable theme, the marriage of gay couples, being a great entertainment. There are funny and dramatic situations, but they are satisfactorily resolved in an optimistic way. The controversial and unthinkable affair of Magda and her married chef Cesar is probably the weakest point of the story. I was particularly impressed with the beauty and elegance of Ms. Mercedes Sampietro. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Rainhas" ("Queens")
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7/10
Worth seeing
pzurzolo3 June 2005
I saw this movie in Spain last month and think it is one of the more clever gay themed films I have seen in a while. Contrasting it with most of the U.S. gay films, it lacked the superfluous drug and sex clichés that those filmmakers seem to the think the gay audience demands. It didn't fall prey to the trite and camp that makes the genre so formulaic in this country, and will probably plague the English "remake" should there be one. More impressive, though, was that I think I was one of 6 gay people in an audience of about 100..this in a country that less than 40 years ago was suffocating under Franco's regime of control and censorship. Here is hoping one day that happens here!
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10/10
This is a fun movie for anyone
robjc12314 October 2005
I too saw this movie in Spain when I was at school in Barcelona.

I saw it 3 times actually because I was learning Spanish and since no subtitles in spain of course it was a great exercise in learning. Plus it's so funny! I can't wait to buy it on DVD (of course subtitles optional for my English friends) THIS movie is funny. The Spanish really do believe viva como tu quieras (live as you want) Though yes some of the mothers don't fully understand homosexuality you can see how they simply want their children to be happy.

This is a great movie about finding happiness and letting go of prejudices.

Go see it at the artsy theatres when it comes here or rent it when it's on DVD.
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10/10
Great!
rbrome20 July 2006
I loved this movie.

The production values, acting, and directing are all first-rate. Unlike too many gay-themed movies, this was clearly expertly made.

The pace is fast and the mood light. The humor is absolutely hilarious. I don't think I stopped smiling, and there were a few times I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my seat. It was an absolute riot.

This is a great movie for gay and straight audiences alike. It's an even better film for families to see. The movie is all about guys getting married and their crazy (but believable) mothers. No matter what your mom was like, one of these mothers will probably remind you of yours. There's just so much great family humor that everyone would anyone would enjoy.

Highly recommended.
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9/10
Delightful paella of sexual mores
terryhall23 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SOME SPOILERS:

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. A stylishly shot, fashionable and well directed film, it was also a fine commentary on contemporary Spain, covering many issues that have arisen in that country. All that, however, was incidental to the main storyline which concerned the mothers (and fathers)of six sons who really did not want their sons to marry another man, despite their pretensions to the contrary. The women stole the film obviously, particularly the one with the sexual addiction and the lady from Argentina who has brought her Old English Sheepdog to the wedding of the six sons.(sorry, I can't remember their names off-hand) The story is complex but easy to follow, the guys were a delight to watch and the characters warm and believable. The passion of modern Spain is still there and the acceptance of modern life commendable. Well worth watching.
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10/10
Reinas is a must see film!
msmitzy13 December 2005
I saw this film recently as part of the Manchester celebrations of the enactment of the Civil Partnership Act and I was expecting from the write up a foreign language film with an ethereal link to this specific political moment in time. However it was a fantastically funny film! The film follows a series of couples over the weekend prior to the first gay weddings in Spain.

The delight of the film for me was the intensity of the spectoral gaze upon the relationships between 'gay in-laws' and between gay men and their mothers. The film refuses any clichés.

The defining aspect of this film that makes it excellent is that I totally forgot about the subtitles and just lived the action! The other defining aspect of the films greatness is that this was the first film I have watched at the cinema since 'The Full Monty' that had a raucous round of applause verging onto a standing ovation!
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9/10
Best Subtitled movie I have ever seen
missmistyeyez22 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is an amazing journey, and the posters and advertisement does it no justice at all.

We are about to witness a huge Gay wedding in where over 20 gay couples are to be wed at the same time in Spain. If can only imagine the thought of focusing on six of those gay couples and followed them around as they are frantic and running around in a hurried attempt to get ready for their wedding. That would be pretty stressful and exciting for you would have a hilarious drama with this plot alone, right? Well what if you took the emphasis from the grooms and followed their high strung mothers. Mothers who are loving and supportive of their gay sons, yet to some degree are a bit embarrassed that they are about to attend a gay marriage and that is when you will have the real dramatic journey of our "Queens" in this tale. That is what makes this realistic, edgy, dramatic, and hilarious story. No matter what your mother is like, one of these women will probably remind you of yours. Yes, even if she is a whore and cannot keep her legs closed for more than five minutes.

This film is brilliant and clever, all the while successfully avoiding cliché stereotypes for how the gays should or may seem to appear in most movies (ex: Drugs, Clubs). Some of the couples are from mixed social classes but the film approaches all the couples as if they were any regular couples seriously getting ready for a wedding. Yet no matter how rich or poor you are, or how gay or straight you are everyone has drama as they approach their wedding day and ironing out all their kinks and making this day magical.

Thus leading us to several scenes where traumatic conflict occur and one of the most shocking scenes involve a mother and her future son in law, I was mortified. I will also say that the only unrealistic fact of this movie is that almost all of the scandals or unfortunate situations resulted in a surprisingly optimistic end.

I was most impressed with this film for the overall message was love, happiness, tolerance and letting go of prejudice. There is one warning however. You will need to pay attention for some of the flash backs even to a few hours before start to give you a bit of whiplash. You will need to watch to see where you are in the time line. Even though this can be a bit confusing I must say that this is the best subtitled movie I have ever scene. For I literally forgot I was reading the film and was focused or should I say caught up in the drama and action of the movie. Go see it for you will Love it.

PS. If there is ever an English remake I would love to be in this movie, for the only thing it lacked was a female impersonator. *wink*
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Fun and warm
Gordon-111 November 2007
This film is about the complex interwoven relationships of 3 gay couples, their 5 mothers & 2 fathers, and a dog.

I have been looking forward to this film since it was released, and I conclude that it was worth the wait to watch it! The plot is simple, fun and healthy. As other has pointed out, it lacks the darker stereotypes of sex and drugs. It portrays gays as healthy and successful people, which is a refreshing change. Their parents' lives though, seem to be more problematic as they all have their own problems to sort out. The one woman that stands out is Nucia the nymphomaniac. She is so convincingly flirty and funny at the same time! The Argentian woman (I think it is Ofelia?) is so funny and annoying, like the monster mother in law! Hugo is cute and lovely. Miguel is upset about all the tragic events that happened but happily still do what he is told because of love. Each of the characters have a different personality, and I really like it. The ending is so sweet and affirmative. It is an entertaining and fun film that will bring a warm smile to your face!
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10/10
Fantastic Spanish comedy
Swissangel461618 June 2012
Reinas / Queens / or "Schwule Mütter ohne Nerven" as the German titles was - is a amazing funny movie about the first official Spanish gay marriage.

Not the tree different gay couples playing the main part - no, its the story about their mothers played by the grand dames of the Spanish cinema.

Its a romantic comedy, wonderful filmed. Some events say: 4 hours before. So we see again a event a second time but from another angle. The movie / story is like a small puzzle and come's on the end to a whole thing (the marriage). I would say it's interesting made.

Yes, its funny, a lot humor, but the acting is never overacted! Very good I found was Unax Ugalde (the blond haired guy) who's really talented actor.
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7/10
Great Film with Totally Hilarious, Believable and Fantastic situations!!
ViniB28 June 2011
I must confess that the mixed IMDb reviews were the main reason I actually decided to watch the movie. I was expecting a typical wedding drama, only instead of a hetero-wedding, this would be a gay-wedding. But this movie is much more.

The lives of five mothers and a father whose gay sons are getting married in a mass wedding ceremony, are interconnected and interwoven in totally hilarious, believable and fantastic situations. Like it's name suggests, the true heroines of the day are the mothers "Reinas - the Queens of the ceremony". The women, so totally different from each other, had one bond that would knowingly or unknowingly connect them in so many ways. The dog moving from one person to another, gave the impression of that connection.

The direction was amazing, and the back and forth of the timelines gave it a unique feel. What happened that lead to the other happening that lead to the "now"... it was classic.

The only thing that bothered me was that one unresolved issue, which constituted the final scene. But, I thought it was better to keep the issue unresolved than to acknowledge the destroyed relationships.

It is a truly great film.
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1/10
glib gay dulce vida comedy--unwatchable
filmalamosa28 August 2012
First I am gay so take the following seriously.

This movie is boring and dull. It is not funny--it is a feel good attempt to make gays main stream although still plagued with bedevilments from straights--and make Spain seem to have arrived at the Dulce Vida. It is supposed to be a comedy and yes you smile at a few things but this thing is very badly written. It is cut up disjointed and boring.

It follows several gay couples and their parents who are participating in a Spanish national first = a gay wedding of 20 couples at Hotel in Madrid. This premise is funny too bad the movie isn't.

There is nothing funny about a gay man who falls for his mother in law...or one who ditches a dog in a park. The trade union leader of the hotel is the lover of the female owner so we get class things thrown in for more laughs. The gay stuff is enough adding class politics is not comedy stuff.

There is something glib and very annoying about the whole movie.

I finally pulled the plug half way through it was so irritating that it became unwatchable.

The gimmicky plot technique that keeps skipping back in time didn't help---but the real problem is the movie is just boring garbage.

DO NOT RECOMMEND
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9/10
Screwball comedy from Spain---.with all star cast.
jaybob2 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Yes,This fast,furious, madcap comedy concerning a mass wedding of Same-sex(gay)couples.

The title refers to the mothers of a few of the guys. Carmen Maura is one of the mothers & to me she is a queen of Spanish cinema.

A few of the lads fathers are involved as well, Some naturally have misunderstanding emotions on there sons marrying men. Most importantly there is NO HATE expressed. h Also all the gays are quite masculine even though they may be gay.I wish we here in the USA made gay themed movies of this type

The acting by all is first rate,,the direction & other productions aspects are first rate.

Warner Bros. of Espana are the producers, even tho the Frere's Warner are longer here, They were known to film with very tight budgets. This may be a 2005 film. It is to the films credit that they did not go overboard on the production. Madcap screwball comedies do not need excessive production values. The film is quite sexual in nature but is not graphic at any point,the one nude scene is done naturally.

The film had a very skimpy theatrical run in 2006 in the States. It deserved better.

Rent this, you hopefully will like it as much as I did.

Ratings: ***1/2 (out of 4) 93 points (out of 4) IMDb 9 (out of 10)
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1/10
Spanish lifestyle...
deep_hue10 September 2006
What is this ? A low budget sex comedy ? Anyway it describes perfectly the people in Spain. They could come up with a better idea, I mean they do this kind of movies since the 60s.. and people like them ! This is neither a teen comedy nor a family one (you can't let your 12 year old watch 2 guys in bed kissing, he'll never want to go to Spain). This should be rated "R", because only people 35+ seem to laugh watching :S I'm truly disappointed, maybe I don't like gays (which is quite an important part of the movie).

Foreign humor is awful in films (except Kusturica), stick with doing dramas! If you want a new comedy try Talladega Nights
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