Top Spanish d.p. Jose Luis Alcaine makes the picture a visual treat. Witty shots of supermarket food, or of the Young Man and the Girl as they frolic in the grass, stand out. Editing is appealingly busy, too, with head shots of commentators presented in a quasi-documentary style.
But the dialogue, meant to suggest the emptiness of teenage lives, soon starts to sound merely banal. (“It’s cool that someone dies after sleeping with you,” the Girl observes.) Pic eventually ends up — and slows down — in a bizarre house on the coast where weirdo couple Juanito (Viggo Mortensen) and Alicia (Christina Rosenvinge, Loriga’s real-life partner) are living their own empty lives.
Dozens of refs to U.S. pop culture reveal Loriga as an Americana fetishist par excellence: A stronger sense of place would have helped the movie. Loriga also shows no interest in why his characters are the way they are or in giving the film that unstylish thing, a moral.
Elejalde gets the best lines as the only character even slightly able to articulate the emptiness of his life, and brings some much-needed black comedy to things. Anna Galiena, as the failed Mother, looks lost. The score, a mixture of ’90s rock and Velvet Underground-inspired Rosenvinge originals, is terrific.