Review: ‘Anytime Soon Esas No Son Penas’

Five thirtysomething women who haven't seen each other in 14 years stage a reunion in this laid-back, intermittently interesting first film from Ecuador, "Anytime Soon." Adopting the low-key, no-budget style familiar from recent Latin American offerings like "25 Watts" but lacking the Uruguayan film's mischievous humor, co-directors Anahi Hoeneisen and Daniel Andrade explore a middle-class, feminine universe of feelings and problems that could be set just about anywhere.

Five thirtysomething women who haven’t seen each other in 14 years stage a reunion in this laid-back, intermittently interesting first film from Ecuador, “Anytime Soon.” Adopting the low-key, no-budget style familiar from recent Latin American offerings like “25 Watts” but lacking the Uruguayan film’s mischievous humor, co-directors Anahi Hoeneisen and Daniel Andrade explore a middle-class, feminine universe of feelings and problems that could be set just about anywhere. Still, pic’s rare Ecuador background, glimpsed mostly in aerial shots of night time Quito, will be the main drawing card for Latino fans.

Hoeneisen herself plays Elena, whose husband has left her without knowing she’s pregnant. Moody actress Marina (Amaia Merino) is two-timing her boyfriend with another actor, her younger sister Tamara (Paquita Troya) is a good-time gal into drugs, Diana (Francisca Romeo) is a mellow single mom, and Alejandra (Carolina Valencia) is wanly battling cancer. Surprisingly for a South American film, no one has money problems. The individual stories, recounted with some awkwardness, finally flow into a girls’ night out where protags take stock of their remarkably ordinary lives. The lack of drama takes its toll in a draggy tempo.

Anytime Soon Esas No Son Penas

Ecuador

Production

A La Maquinita production in association with La Facultad, El Otro Lado, Aurora. Produced by Veronica Andrade. Directed by Anahi Hoeneisen, Daniel Andrade. Screenplay, Hoeneisen.

Crew

Camera (color), Andrade; editor, Manolo Sarmiento; music, Xavier Muller; production designer, Carla Valencia. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Latin Horizons), Sept. 29, 2006. Original title: Esas no son penas. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Amaia Merino, Francisca Romeo, Paquita Troya, Carolina Valencia, Anahi Hoeneisen.
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