Debut feature from scripter Juan Luis Iborra, part of Manuel Gomez Pereira’s successful BocaBoca team, “Days of Bread and Heaven” is a generation-hopping romantic comedy capsized by an unconvincing central motif and a lame lead perf by young Carlos Fuentes. Pic has done only discreet B.O. at home, and offshore prospects look the same outside Spanish territories.
Title translates literally as “Times of Sugar,” which is about right: ’50s-set opening is toe-curlingly saccharine as Isabel (Veronica Forque) tells young son Miguel he must help her with the family bakery now that Daddy is dead. A few years later, Miguel (Fuentes) is in the grips of a cake-making obsession. Isabel dies, the ’60s arrive, and Miguel, hopelessly in love with Angela (looker Maria Adanez), bakes her a cake. When Angela goes to university, she becomes a ’60s radical and gets a new b.f., Carlos (middle-aged thesp Roberto Alvarez, struggling to look in his 20s). Attempt to cover 40 years of Spanish history to the present is laudably ambitious, but many scenes have a sketchy, shorthand feel. Apart from Fuentes, other perfs are solid.