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
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
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