Working more intimately than in his acclaimed 1997 Bosnian war drama “Comanche Territory,” Madrid-based producer-director Gerardo Herrero scores with the Rohmerish “Friends Have Reasons,” an insightful drama from a precise Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde script about the effect of a seemingly innocent monetary loan on a trio of longtime chums. Fests will snap this up, as will distribs and cablers looking for quality fare with universal appeal.
Desperate to keep his tech business afloat, Carlos (Sergi Calleja) hits up idealistic, upwardly mobile college pals Santiago (Joel Joan) and Marta (Marta Belaustegui) for 4 million pesetas ($21,000) each at their monthly meal together, promising to pay them back shortly. By the time he finally does, more than six months later, implications have rippled subtly yet inexorably through the lives of each: College prof Santiago has left punky g.f. Sol (Paz Gomez) for practical Letitia (Ana Duato); Marta’s indignant husband, Guillermo (Jose Tome), finally walks out, and Carlos’ wife, Ainhoa (Lola Duenas), hesitantly begins to look around. “Life is short,” someone sighs, “but it’s wide.” Tech credits are crystalline, with a few minutes of exit music, presumably allowing auds to contemplate cautionary moral message.