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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Barcelona

Starring: Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman
Director: Whit Stillman
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: July 1994
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Independent

*Also starring: Tushka Bergen, Mira Sorvino, Pep Munne, Hellena Schmied, Nuria Badia, Jack Gilpin, Thomas Gibson, Francis Creighton

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

First, BARCELONA is NOT a foreign film regardless of the title and the fact that it is playing at art houses along with foreign films. It is an American film with American and Spanish actors all speaking English. No subtitles and no dubbing which is good since this movie is non-stop dialog.

BARCELONA is MY DINNER WITH ANDRE but set in Spain "during the last decade of the cold war" (80s) and with more than just two people in the film. Two cousins (Christopher Eigeman and Taylor Nichols) are blood brothers who know each other well, and who constantly get on each other nerves. One is a soldier who is an unannounced house guest with the other in his apartment in Barcelona. The other cousin is salesman who is not very good at selling but who reads lots of business motivational books.

The salesman has a self-declared "romance illusion" problem so he decides to "date only homely girls" because that way he can look into their eyes and see their souls. He is no more successful at this than he is at selling.

The movie is filled with beautiful women who work at the trade fair as guides. Now that I reflect on it, the men were pretty handsome too. Both are in the movie, but the two cousins get 80% of the lines.

What is right with this movie is the directing and the script (both were done by Whit Stillman). It is a talkative 2 hour movie with all of the pauses taken out so that we are left with incessant conversation for 1 hour and 41 minutes. There is serious conversation on the proper direction for a man to shave. In other parts they discuss how motivational books apply or not in certain situations. It is a comedy because the lines are funny, but they are delivered so seriously and so rapidly that nobody laughed much in the theater, but that was okay.

The acting is either natural or amateurish - take your pick. For me it worked. I suspect some people will walk out saying, what a lot of drivel, who cares about these cousins? Others will rate it a classic in the MY DINNER WITH ANDRE genre. For me I am somewhere in-between. I give it a thumbs up and rate it ** 1/2.

Barcelona is rated PG-13, but there is no nudity or bad language. There is a lot of smoking. I guess the rating is about right in that younger kids would probably not get it anyway.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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