Saturday, March 14, 2009

VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (now playing at home where you can lounge in your funky ripped underwear)

Vicky and Cristina are two sexy young Americans, on the loose in Barcelona for the summer in this Woody Allen offering that explores the "ins and outs" of seduction. Cristina (the lovely Scarlett Johansson) is a free and easy bohemian type, while Vicky (the equally lovely Rebecca Hall) exudes rationality, practicality, and common sense. At least at the beginning.

There are many ways to be seduced, not the least of which is the sound of Spanish guitars in the romantic milieu of Barcelona. Enter the ultra-persuasive Juan Antonio, (Javier Bardem) a smoldering artistic type who, upon meeting the two girls, unabashedly proposes that they join him for a threesome with the line: "Life is short, life is dull, life is full of pain." (Geez, I wish I'd thought of that when I was dating Barbara Jo Wilkerson!)

What ensues is an unpredictable love triangle. The heat is turned up further when Juan Antonio's spooky ex-wife, played convincingly by Penelope Cruz, re-enters the picture and turns the triangle into a quadrangle, with amusing complications.

Allen's dialogue is so distinctively "Woody" that one cannot totally avoid picturing the writer/director mouthing those words instead of his characters, which can really screw with your head when it's one of the beautiful women speaking!

One of the marks of a good movie is that you don't want it to end. I was thoroughly seduced by Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and I bet you will be too.


Grade: B+

TIMMY'S TIDBITS: Scarlett Johansson had been cast in the 2005 film Thumbsucker --but dropped out before filming started. (Unfortunate...there would have been something quite sexy about watching Scarlett sucking her thumb!)

A Scarlett quote: "I don't think human beings are monogamous by nature."

Penelope Cruz dated Tom Cruise for about three years. (Had they married, she wouldn't have had to change her name.)

Penelope likes to have stray cats around. After filming All The Pretty Horses in 2000, she became a vegetarian.

A Penelope quote: "Sometimes I think I'm an Italian trapped in a Spanish woman's body."