It’s no big stretch for Mexican telenovelas vets Elisa Salinas and Rafael Gutierrez to co-direct their first feature, “Alabaster Woman,” since pic is shot and conceived as a soap stretched to fit the bigscreen. Laboriously intercutting tales of working-class women in Juarez, filmmakers (with scribe Vicente Lenero, adapting Victor Bartoli’s novel) undermine their serious intentions with unintended laughs stemming from shoddy thesping, elementary melodrama and abrupt tonal shifts. B.O. will depend on whether or not tube auds will turn out for a more expensive version of a soap at multiplexes. International prospects appear hollow.
Chuya (Ana Claudia Talancon) gets involved with lecherous border cop Natalio (aptly cast Hector Suarez), while Cata (Dolores Heredia) must put up with her stern, hypocritical dad Emiliano (Rafael Inclan), and club-hopper Guera (Silvia Navarro) fights with her b.f. and drunk dad. One of these stories would be more than enough to let auds know about the burdens of today’s young women who want to carve out a life for themselves (while having a bit of fun in the dance clubs), but all three together create a dull, repetitive cacophony of pseudo-drama.