Dave's Rating:


… two-and-a-half-hour cure for insomnia …

Who's in It: Javier Bardem, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Benjamin Bratt, Liev Schreiber, John Leguizamo, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Laura Harring

The Basics: What do they call it when someone you love goes off and marries someone else, and you spend years obsessing about them and sporadically popping up in their lives and wishing that the person your beloved married would hurry up and die? Oh, yes, that's right: STALKING. That's what Bardem does here. He waits for 50-plus years, spending his days doing "it" with every other woman who crosses his path. And in spite of the fact that it's based on a book by a Nobel Prize winner (Gabriel García Márquez), it transfers to screen minus the literary magic and plus the creepiness.

What's the Deal? What almost compels me to recommend this two-and-a-half-hour cure for insomnia — you'll find yourself wondering, What time does the cholera happen? I hope it's soon — is the way that everyone puts on a wacky Colombian accent and heaves out their dialogue like they've just finished a 5K "fun run." Even better, the dialogue is telenovela stuff like this …

  • Example No. 1: Bratt is the guy who marries Bardem's lady. On their wedding night, she's all freaked out about sex and bodies, so right before he climbs on top of her, he says, in a breathy King of All Studs way, "This will be a lesson in love."
  • Example No. 2: After being scolded by his boss for turning a business memo into a very gay-sounding love letter, confused clerk Bardem mutters to himself, "I need love, I need love, I need love, I need love."

You Have a Choice of Javier Bardem Movies, Consumers: You can see this one, where he wanders around looking like a mopey Colombian Harpo Marx, or you can see the astoundingly great No Country for Old Men. I spent the entire running time of this one wishing someone would just hand him an air compressor* so he could really get things done. (*His loyal companion in the Coen brothers' movie.)

Who Should See It, Because It's Not for Loyal Readers of Márquez, That's for Certain: Period-film enthusiasts (the visual details and set decoration and production design are, admittedly, really nice to look at), Bardem groupies who can set aside their critical-thinking skills, fans of things that are awful.


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