Saturday, April 25, 2009

You could see it: En La Ciudad

I have seen more than my fair share of lesbian and bisexual movies over the years. Whenever I come across a movie with queer content that I haven’t seen before, I am always a bit suspicious about the film. Because I always figure, had it been a really good movie, I probably would have seen it already.

Luckily, this wasn’t the case with this movie. The reason I hadn’t heard of it before, is probably because it’s not really a queer movie. But don’t worry, it does have some queer content.

En La Ciudad (In the city) is the 2003 Spanish movie about the daily lives of a group of eight friends in their thirties. Their lives are full of secrets and lies, which means especially a lot of sorted love affairs. They like nothing better than to talk to each other about their exciting love lives.

There is Mario who is convinced his wife is cheating on him, therefore, he embarks on an affair of his own. Sofia is not having a love life at all, but she is making an exciting one up. The character we care most about is Irene, who has a loving husband and a son, but cannot help herself when she falls for a woman.

The movie starts with Tomas waking up next to one of his 16-year-old students. She tells him she has a maths exam today, and that last night was the first time she had sex. Lovely. I am trying not to judge the guy, but it is hard.

We then meet all the other characters one by one; we see them with their partners or their various love affairs, or talking to each other about their relationships.

I will spare you all the straight stuff, even though it really is all quite enjoyable to watch. Let’s focus on the two women instead. Irene bumps into an old friend who she hasn’t seen in a couple of years. The two women start talking about their lives and what they have been up to since they last saw each other.

They decide to meet for lunch the next day. During lunch, they talk about Irene’s husband and child, and her friend’s girlfriend, and engage in other kinds of small talk. After that, they keep bumping into each other.

Meanwhile things aren’t going very well with Irene’s relationship. She isn’t happy with her husband and she even doesn’t want to have children with him anymore. So she looks up her lesbian friend, like you do.

They skip over all of the good stuff, and go straight to the morning after. WTF! It’s the whole reason I am watching this movie. I guess the writers didn’t get that memo.

All in all, it’s a pretty good movie. I’ve probably watched about a dozen Spanish movies in my life, and somehow they have all been good. I don’t know if that’s saying something about Spanish movies, or if I’ve just been lucky.

What I like about En La Ciudad is that it’s slow paced, and it doesn’t have a huge story arc. It’s just a glimpse into these friends’ lives and their complicated relationships. Don’t rent it just for the lesbian storyline – it’s rather minor and not that exciting - but if you feel like watching a nice Spanish movie, En La Ciudad would be a good choice.

This review was first published on eurOut.

No comments: