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Horn of Plenty

The tired Cuban cinema scene wheezes along with one of its latest exports, “Horn of Plenty,” a trying example of “madcap” comedy from vet helmer Juan Carlos Tabio (“Strawberry and Chocolate”).

With:
With: Jorge Perugorria, Enrique Molina, Paula Ali, Yoima Valdes, Laura De La Luz, Annia Bu, Tahimi Alvarino, Vladimir Cruz, Mirtha Ibarra.

The tired Cuban cinema scene wheezes along with one of its latest exports, “Horn of Plenty,” a trying example of “madcap” comedy from vet helmer Juan Carlos Tabio (“Strawberry and Chocolate”). An inheritance sets off an expected flurry of excitement, followed by rekindled resentments and passions in an extended family. Sharp-eyed viewers should spot digs at the absurd injustices Cubans endure, but Tabio and Arturo Arango’s script plays it safe with a taste for kooky characters and stock situations that feels dated. Star Jorge Perugorria may help Ibero-American sales, but this spin won’t match Tabio’s past hits commercially.

Factory worker Bernardo (Perugorria, also providing needless v.o.) finds his burg of Yamaguey turned upside down by news that potentially billions of dollars long stocked away in a British bank belong to him and his Castineiras kin. While his wife Marthica (Annia Bu) dreams of home improvements with the windfall, his stubborn, hardline pro-Castro dad (Enrique Molina) smells a Yankee conspiracy and refuses to sign the required paperwork. Bernardo’s factory colleague Zobeida (Laura De La Luz) exploits events to launch an affair with him, leading to many desperate strokings of the funny bone.

Horn of Plenty

Production: A Tornasol Films (Spain)/ICAIC (Cuba) production. (International sales: Latido Films, Madrid.) Produced by Gerardo Herrero, Camilo Vives, Mariela Besuievsky. Executive producer, Besuievsky. Directed by Juan Carlos Tabio. Screenplay, Arturo Arango, Tabio.

Crew: Camera (color), Hans Burmann; editor, Berta Frias; music, Lucio Godoy; production designer, Jose Manuel Villa; costume designer, Nancy Gonzalez. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 7, 2008. Original title: El cuerno de la abundancia. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: With: Jorge Perugorria, Enrique Molina, Paula Ali, Yoima Valdes, Laura De La Luz, Annia Bu, Tahimi Alvarino, Vladimir Cruz, Mirtha Ibarra.

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