Friday, September 26, 2008

Vicky Christina Barcelona

Vicky and Christina are best friends, according to our narrator at the start of the movie, and while they agree on almost everything, they couldn't be more different in their views of love. Vicki knows what she wants, a safe, secure, dependable relationship., and is, in fact, engaged to just such a man. Christina is coming off the end of yet another relationship, seeking something, she's not sure what. The friends are on their way to Barcelona where they will stay with Vicki's relative, Judy (aunt I think), while Vicky plans to study Catalan culture for a couple of months and Christina is along just for the change of scenery. And beautiful scenery it was.

This movie, written and directed byWoody Allen, is all about love. The beautiful people and scenes from Spain enhanced the story. The movie provided a lot of passion, some romance, a little eroticism, and inevitable examination of feelings as you would expect from a Woody Allen movie. The story held few surprises, and yet was quite satisfying. We Reel Women liked this movie and give it our recommendation.

***Spoilers ahead***

Attending an art opening, Christina spots a young handsome artist. Later at a restaurant, Vicky and Christina see him again. He approaches them, asks them to go with him in a hour to a Spanish village to spend a couple of days to see some sculpture and make love. Vicky is indignant, Christina intrigued. They go. After a day of seeing the beautiful sights, followed by good food and wine, Vicky returns to her hotel room, Christina goes to Antonio's room. But the lovemaking does not proceed as Christina is suddenly taken ill.

The next two days Christina is confined to bed and Vicki and Antonio after spending much time together and growing to like one another, fall into a passionate encounter, but it is to be just a one-night stand.

Returning to Barcelona, Vicky throws herself into her work and Christina and Antonio take up a relationship. Antonio's ex-wife, the exotic and fiery Maria Elena, enters the story when he takes her in following her suicide attempt. Christina is not jealous and the relationship of the three becomes first friendly and then erotic with encounters among all combinations of the three.

Vicki meantime is questioning whether she really wants the man and life she has chosen. But he surprises her with a suggestion that he join her in Barcelona where they will have a Spanish wedding. They do marry and he remains in Barcelona while she continues her research, but Vicky is melancholy.

Inevitably, Christina tires of the relationship and decides to leave. Since she was the "glue" of the group, Antonio and Maria Elena return to fighting and subsequently part as well. A few days before returning to America, Vicky encounters Antionio by chance and realizes she wants to be with him. He calls her to meet him for lunch the following day. She declines, but ends up meeting him, lying to her husband about where she is going.

At Antonio's home they are about to fall again into lovemaking when Maria Elena appears with a gun. The ensuing tussle includes some firing of the gun and Vicki receives a graze on her hand. She suddenly comes to her senses and realizes Antonio is not who she wants after all. She and her husband and Christina return to America.

The story unfolds at a comfortable, unhurried pace, though I wouldn't say it ever dragged. The dialog is distinctly Woody Allen. You can almost hear Diane Keaton speaking some of the lines. And yet it had a different flavor that felt like a fresh Woody Allen. If you like Woody Allen, this is a good bet for you.

We began the evening with a repeat visit to Stoneground Pizza for some of that very special pasta. All of the group was together for dinner, but a couple were unable to stay for the movie. As I looked around at this eclectic group of women, I was struck with what a smart, savvy, talented group of women they are. No wonder I so look forward to our monthly get-together.

No comments: