I'm not too well read me. Its not that I'm an anti intellectual or particularly afraid of books, its just that over the years I've spent more time in Blockbuster than in the Waterstones. So when a famous literary adaptation such as this comes along my first thought is a quote from High Fidelity (the film not the book, although that it one I have read). The quote is as follows "I've read books like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Love in the Time of Cholera", and I think I've understood them. They're about girls, right?"
Florentina (Javier Bardem) spends his youth obsessed with Fermina (Giovanna Mezzoiorno) a repressed young lady whose love for him is equally as strong. Once her father finds out, she is sent away to stop her disgracing the family. Upon her return Fermina snubs Florentina causing him to fuck his way around South America. All the time though he longs for his first love.
Melodrama is a tricky thing to get right and an even trickier genre to impress this reviewer with. Any film where a girl threatens to top herself after exchanging two glances with a man and instantly falls in love with him is likely to inspire a certain amount of rage from within. Having some awful acting and laughably bad makeup only exacerbates matters and so the anger grew and grew. Thank God for John Leguizamo whoso OTT performance requires only a moustache twirl to cement it in the halls of cinemas worst bad guys hall of fame.
As for the Oscar winning Javier its sad to see him so bland. Occasionally shades of Anton Chigurh cross his eyes and you start to hope that he might mercilleslly start killing people but he chooses to have sex with them in increasingly vomit inducing ways instead. Going in to this I thought no matter how bad the film is I'll at least learn a little about a famous book and be able to blag my way through a conversation about the source material. Instead, all I still know is, Its about girls, right? Oh yeah, and avoid the 2007 film version like a bad case of gastroenteritis