Thursday, March 19, 2009

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (playing at home where you absentmindedly stuck your gum onto the underside of your easy chair)

One of my favorite things to do is to find, among all the films that I see, ones that I truly love and feel a special connection with--then impart those feelings to the world in hopes that at least SOMEONE will be intrigued enough to see the film and, perhaps, develop that same kind of connection. You could say it's a mission of love, and my primary purpose in authoring this blog.
And that brings us to Love In The Time of Cholera, based on the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Young Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem) has a powerful thing for the lovely Fermina Daza, (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) in this exquisite tale set against the backdrop of a cholera epidemic in South Ameerica on the cusp of the 20th century. Fermina is intrigued by Florentino's fascination with her, but her father doesn't want her to marry a lowly telegraph operator. Nonetheless, she accepts her lovestruck suitor's proposal with the statement: "I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant."

But a short time later, Fermina mysteriously changes her mind (a woman's perogative, as all men know) and Florentino is devastated. Florentino carries that torch...and carries it...even when Fermina marries a prominent doctor and seems to want no part of her former paramour.

Florentino's attempted cure for his lovesickness is to run through a series of female conquests, (in scenes that hand us a healthy helping of feminine pulchritude) which eventually grows to the kind of numbers that would make any man envious (except, I suppose, Gene Simmons of Kiss). But even through all that, there is something of the monomaniacal in Florentino's obsession with Fermina, and he will wait forever, if need be, to fulfill his dream.

It must have been more than half way through the film before I realized that this lush romantic drama is also a comedy--what else would you call it when a cat pounces on your bare ass during a scene of lovemaking?

Directed by Mike Newell, with a haunting score from Antonio Pinto and original songs by Shakira. Also featuring Benjamin Bratt, Hector Elizondo, and John Leguizamo. Love In The Time of Cholera is a film for the ages about a love that survives the ages.


TIMMY'S TIDBITS: Javier Bardem hails from Spain and has starred in more than two dozen films in that country. It is reported that he does not know how to drive. (Neither does my girlfriend, but she THINKS she does.)

Giovanna Mezzogiorno wanted to be a ballerina and studied dancing for 13 years. She is a Scorpio, and has a tattoo of the scorpion zodiac sign on her ankle.