Soft and lumpy, Ulises Rosell’s family comedy “Sofabed” leaves virtually no impression, with star Cecilia Roth as a working single mom contending with a growing family and a houseguest. While Rodrigo Moreno — one of Rosell’s fellow co-directors of his debut feature, “Sweet Repose” — has moved on to impressive things with “El Custodio,” Rosell continues lame comedic strokes from the previous pic. An odd opener for the adventurous Buenos Aires fest, bigscreen sitcom opened locally May 5, with best biz likely in ancillary.
Clothesmaker and harried-but-cheery mom Bernie (Roth) somehow juggles work and three boys — eldest Miguel (Juan Pablo Garaventa), teen Leo (Martin Piroyansky) and 10-year-old Nahuel (Nicolas Condito) — and happily takes in friend Carmen (Maria Fernanda Callejon) when she’s homeless after breaking up with her b.f. What Bernie doesn’t count on is beautiful Carmen’s effect on the clan, particularly Leo and his uncontrollable desire to jump her bones.
Inevitable complications ensue, which necessarily include Bernie being the last person on the planet to grasp what’s going on in her household. Rosell developed the script through Cannes’ Residence program, and the overwhelming impression that “Sofabed” leaves is of a middling comedy that’s been homogenized, with only the Spanish language and a few Argentine details preserved.
Roth taps into the weary suburban mom role quite nicely, but this is surely one of her least notable perfs as she’s utterly upstaged by Callejon, who injects the pic with some needed life. Piroyansky has a sweetness under his bumbling, semi-macho exterior. Tech credits, like film in general, are pro but dull.