Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Movie Review

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (PG-13) 96 minutes A-
Three babes and Javier Bardem

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem, Chris Messina, Patricia Clarkson, and Kevin Dunn

Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are best friends. Vicky is a sensible and structured grad student finishing her master's thesis on Catalan culture. Cristina... well, Cristina is just smokin hot.

The two friends have decided to spend the summer in Barcelona, and shortly after their arrival they are befriended by a rugged yet sexy Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). Within minutes of meeting the women he suggests that the three of them take a trip together and make love all weekend. Vicky is admittedly opposed for numerous reasons (one of which she's engaged to be married), while Cristina is intrigued by his unconventional offer and his five o'clock shadow.

When Cristina succumbs to illness, Vicky is forced to hang out with Juan. With Cristina out of sight and out of mind, Vicky changes her tune about Juan. But when Cristina is well, Vicky takes a backseat to her friend despite her new found feelings for the charming Spaniard.

Cristina and Juan blossom into a very compatible pair, but their union is quickly turned upside down when Juan's crazy ex-wife (Penelope Cruz) comes back into his life.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a terrific film that shows remarkable artistic restraint on behalf of writer, director Woody Allen. This film could have easily derailed many times, but Allen does a brilliant job of balancing drama, comedy and intrigue without sensationalizing his characters or the plot. The film has a certain quiet charm and mature sadness; it speaks the truth about love, fear and certain types of relationships. It's just another example of why Woody Allen is the greatest filmmaker of all time... no doubt about it!

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