Fausto, Augusto and Oliverio escape together from their inconsequential urban lives for one last night to bohemian-paradise, Antigua Guatemala. They have 12 hours to blow Fausto's corrupt bribe money in one last epic party before Oliverio leaves the country the next morning. Their bulletproof plan is to find foreign girls, hook up with them, laugh, drink, dance, smoke and not get killed. But when charming playboy Fausto meets Genevieve, he discovers that it takes more than his seducing skills to actually make love work. Meanwhile inseparable friends Oliverio and Augusto find themselves falling for the same mysterious woman, Agnes. Now all five of them must fight for their friendship, future and love in that one short decadent night, which could be their last.Written by
This film reminds me of an all-time favorite, Before Sunrise (1995, Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy). The film's director fashioned it as such, but it also stands on its own.
It is clear a connection exists between these actors in real life; the director perhaps intended to immortalize themselves in the film to capture a place in time: the characters, who or what they represent, and this quaint bohemian town Antigua.
The other primary goal of the film was to understand "self" more fully, perhaps. That felt like the subtext. This is laudable because every person under 40 (aka a millenial) has gone through or is currently going through the struggle to define themselves apart from another (family) or with another (love).
This film struck me as a blissful and vivid representation of the universal search we each undergo for beauty and belonging. My absolute favorite part is when Oliverio waxes eloquent to Fausto in Spanish, "I always wanted to believe that we could find something beyond ourselves, a home or a shelter so we don't have to escape. Someplace where it's simply not that hard to be ourselves... or be together." The film invites you to believe it's possible and wonder whether Oliverio will find it.
The director does a good job of leading the viewer to believe that everyone will find love. Fausto's story is one of hope; boyish fantasy combined with a drive to do the mundane simple work of daily love.
Oliverio, on the other hand, ascribes to spontaneity and chance, like inviting a stranger to join him moving to a new country just hours after meeting. The film invites you to identify with the characters: maybe you're pessimistic and mysterious like Agnes and Oliverio. Or maybe you're pensive and romantic, having domesticated visions in your future like the musical charmer, Fausto. And then we have political hotheaded Augusto and the evasive French beauty. It's every group of friends looking for adventure and meaning in the transition to adulthood and longing to hold onto youth. Let's have fun tonight, for tomorrow it all ends.
In a stunning photographic ending, the group of five watch the sun come up from the beach. Nothing is certain in where they will go from here, but the belonging they feel is undeniable.
It was a lovely film. I look forward to more by the director.
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