Review: ‘And Who Will Take Care Of Me?’

A recently widowed woman gets yanked out of her grief with a little help from her new friends in "And Who Will Take Care of Me?," a subtly conceived humanist comedy-drama that reins in the impulses for easy laughs and tears.

A recently widowed woman gets yanked out of her grief with a little help from her new friends in “And Who Will Take Care of Me?,” a subtly conceived humanist comedy-drama that reins in the impulses for easy laughs and tears. Very much in the mainstream of current commercial Spanish film and tube production, made-for-TV pic holds up handsomely onscreen, but remains too minor for much distrib and fest interest.

Goofy opening in Seville has Ana (venerable screen thesp Julieta Serrano) flubbing the urn holding her hubby’s ashes, hinting at a lame laffer designed to press feel-good buttons. More serious details emerge, however, with Ana’s troubled family — including sour son Antonio (Antonio de la Torre) and cute grandson Ezequiel (Alexander Biggie) — swept up in their own personal dramas, ranging from a collapsing marriage to Antonio’s insistence that his son focus on soccer even though the moppet would rather dance hip-hop.

It takes a while to draw Ana out of her shell, but a bunch of older gals who play petanca (a Spanish version of bocce) inevitably pull her into their games, and — presto — a new life dawns for Ana. Screenplay by Carmen Pombero and Pepa Alvarez charts a quite predictable course of ups-and-downs (just as Ana gets into the swing of things, a team member comes down with cancer), but Almodovar vet Serrano holds pic to a reasonably sober tone with an emotionally well-grounded perf.

Despite Telecine print screened, pic looks perfectly suited to cinemas. As has become a pattern with too many contempo pics, major false step is a disastrously wrought score by Alfredo Valero.

And Who Will Take Care Of Me?

Spain

Production

An Omnibus Pictures, Steinweg Emotion Pictures presentation. (International sales: Omnibus Pictures, Seville, Spain.) Produced by Laura Alvea. Directed by Angeles Gonzalez Sinde. Screenplay, Carmen Pombero, Pepa Alvarez.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Daniel Sosa; editor, Nino Martinez Sosa; music, Alfredo Valero; production designer, Gorka Arana; sound (Dolby Digital), Antonio Bloch; casting, Pep Armengol. Reviewed at Los Angeles Latino Film Festival, Oct. 13, 2007. (Also in Malaga Film Festival.) Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Julieta Serrano, Antonio de la Torre, Adriana Ozores, Ana Maria Barbany, Isabel Osca, Maria Alfonsa Rosso, Gloria de Jesus, Maria Galiana, Alexander Biggie.
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