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Everything Happens To Me

By turns diverting and annoying, "Everything Happens to Me" tosses its glam, youthful sextet of protags against the Kinsey scale, then jiggles it around to upset sexual-identity expectations. Playing like a Spanish "Friends" episode, Miguel Garcia Borda's breezy seriocomedy too often blows hot air -- the eventual dramatics feel contrived, humor depends too much on the least bearable character, and a couple jarringly tasteless ideas further unbalance script's wobbly focus.

With:
With: Javier Albala, Lola Duenas, Mariam Alamany, Jordi Collet, Christian Brondo, Miguel Garcia Bordo.

By turns diverting and annoying, “Everything Happens to Me” tosses its glam, youthful sextet of protags against the Kinsey scale, then jiggles it around to upset sexual-identity expectations. Playing like a Spanish “Friends” episode, Miguel Garcia Borda’s breezy seriocomedy too often blows hot air — the eventual dramatics feel contrived, humor depends too much on the least bearable character, and a couple jarringly tasteless ideas further unbalance script’s wobbly focus. Tube sales look like the best bet for offshore exposure.

Handsome, square Angel shares a flat with longtime pal Edu, a punky slob to his uptight neatnik. But petty odd-couple disputes are now overshadowed by Angel’s pending marriage and move out, which Edu resents to a suspicious degree.

Their downstairs neighbors are Txell and Aina, a lipstick-lesbian couple on the rocks, who inexplicably share rent with obnoxious hetero wallflower Elena, a chatterbox everyone else (including the viewer) would dearly love to shut up. Desperate for romance, Elena sets her sights on new arrival Oscar, who’s just returned from a spiritual quest in India as Edu’s prospective new roommate.

He is, understandably, not interested, but an accidental peek at Aina sleeping in the nude proves more stimulating, and after a fashion she finds the attraction mutual.

Pic does resist easy solutions, but gradual shift from middling comedy to drama leans too heavily on plot contrivance and shrill shouting matches, with scripted character development lagging well behind the attractive performers’ capabilities. And why are these hip urbanities hanging out with Elena, a room-clearing personality if ever there was one? Intended as a comic-relief ditz, she’s no Judy Holliday; as written and played, she’s just obnoxious, and her continued presence renders an ambivalent conclusion unlikely as well as unsatisfying.

Other sour notes are sounded by two more glaring misjudgments: One a wholly gratuitous necrophilia “joke,” another, Elena’s “funny” faking of a brutal rape to gain sympathy.

Despite all unevenness, pic sustains interest with its slick pacing, attractive leads and occasional incisive scenes (the best probably being Edu’s tortured “coming out” to Angel during a beachside drinking binge). Tech aspects are accomplished, though at times modest budget is betrayed by too few scenes set beyond the apartment interiors.

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Everything Happens To Me

Spanish

Production: An Iris Star production. Produced by Joan Bosch and Pere Domenech. Directed by Miguel Garcia Borda. Screenplay, Toni Martin, Borda, based on a story by Martin.

Crew: Camera (color), Jordi Torta; editor, Lluis Freixa; production designer, Mila Torres; music, Jordi Prats, Joan Diaz. Reviewed on vidcassette, July 9, 2000. (In San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Running time: 108 MIN.

With: With: Javier Albala, Lola Duenas, Mariam Alamany, Jordi Collet, Christian Brondo, Miguel Garcia Bordo.

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