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Thursday, June 11, 2009

SIFF Sighting: LOVELY LONELINESS (romantic comedy; Argentina)


It's good to know that the roles and rituals of grieving single women are universal. That American women aren't the only ones who stay up late rearranging furniture to make the apartment look different without his things there, and that it's okay to sob when we lock ourselves out of our homes and realize there's no one to let us in.

It's also interesting to learn that all of us "single ladies" must be neurotic, because our star player in this film, Soledad (Inés Efron) makes Bridget Jones look borderline balanced.

We meet the hypochondriac heroine after she has broken up with Nico. She is clearly devastated and begins worrying about her own blood pressure, which causes her to buy a velcro contraption to wear around her arm so she can check it compulsively. She also orders her sandwiches in a complicated way, elects to relieve herself elsewhere instead of having her plumbing fixed, and makes regular visits to the doctor for various (most likely fabricated) ailments.

Basically, she's a pain in the ass.

But that doesn't stop her from being endearing. Her smile lights up a room, her eye for décor makes her good at her job, and her quirky issues (mostly medical) are so sincere you can forgive her for having them.

And that's exactly what Nico 2 (Fabian Vena) does.

After swearing off men for two to three years (because the pain and suffering of loss is too unbearable), she reluctantly agrees to a dinner with architect Nico (having just had her heart stomped on by musician Nico), even though she doesn't "eat much at night." Despite a dizzy spell at the table and a very random conversation, Nico decides that her cuteness is worth it and continues to see her.

He fixes her toilet, buys her breakfast after a night of lovemaking, dismisses her offhand comments and turns out to be a very stable force in her life. And that's just what's wrong with the movie.

Nico 2 comes into her life during a hard time, Nico 1 tries to contact her a few times, but the two never meet and barely any conflict is noted between any of the them, save for the original breakup. That, tossed in with her mom getting a boob job and her dad marrying someone with a similar hobby to Soledad's—both for no apparent reason—doesn't add up to much.

The actors are appealing, especially Efron, but their inherent charm is not enough to carry this somewhat pointless film.


LOVELY LONELINESS screened at the 35th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.

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