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I Couldn’t Care Less

A good-looking cast buzzes energetically through a series of moods ranging from sharp-eyed comedy to social criticism in "I Couldn't Care Less," another take on twentysomething angst. Writer-director David Gordon's engaging if chaotic debut, following a clutch of highly rated shorts, is better than most Spanish stabs at the genre, despite a seen-it-before storyline. Lack of marquee names resulted in lackluster local B.O., but the film's emphatically contempo concerns could give it another life on the fest circuit.

With:
With: Alejandro Cano, Maria Jurado, Alvaro Gallegos, Fernando Cayo, Melanie Olivares, Pedro Segura, Begona Hernando.

A good-looking cast buzzes energetically through a series of moods ranging from sharp-eyed comedy to social criticism in “I Couldn’t Care Less,” another take on twentysomething angst. Writer-director David Gordon’s engaging if chaotic debut, following a clutch of highly rated shorts, is better than most Spanish stabs at the genre, despite a seen-it-before storyline. Lack of marquee names resulted in lackluster local B.O., but the film’s emphatically contempo concerns could give it another life on the fest circuit.

Pic starts out uncertainly straddled between comedy and drama, gathering strength as the latter is played up. Confused Jorge (Alejandro Cano) is a blocked writer who has published one self-help book but who cannot help himself. He also suspects he may be gay.

Jorge lives with Marta (Maria Jurado), who’s bisexual and wants to have a baby. Other characters surrounding him are his spiritually inclined former g.f., Eva (looker Melanie Olivares), and gay Alberto (Alvaro Gallegos), who Jorge meets at a New Age healing session run by Ines (Begona Hernando). Jorge has close encounters with most of these characters, while Marta starts going out with Mario (Fernando Cayo), an unrecon-structed machista idiot.

Jorge loosens his block by deciding to write a book about his own experiences called – you guessed it – “I Couldn’t Care Less.” Movie is thus a pretty efficient X-ray of the concerns of a particular Spanish generation at a particular time. Sexuality, obsession with the inner being, political correctness, etc., are all scrutinized as models for living and are found wanting.

Much of the comedy is of the willfully wacky kind; pic is strongest in its more serious moments, as when Marta leaves Jorge to go and live with Mario or when Alberto confesses he’s ill. Performances are nicely naturalistic, and Jurado in particular is an actress to watch. Considering it has only a smattering of nudity and a brief gay kiss, pic has curiously received an 18 certificate in Spain.

I Couldn't Care Less

Spain

Production: A Columbia TriStar Spain release of an Enrique Cerezo PC/CR Films production, in association with TVE, Canal Plus. (International sales: Enrique Cerezo, Madrid.) Pro-duced by Enrique Cerezo. Directed by David Gordon. Screenplay, Gordon, Alvaro Gallegos, Gustavo Fuertes.

Crew: Camera (color), Joaquin Manchado; editor, Gordon, Bela da Costa; music, Francis Garcia, Carmelo Martinez; production designer, Laura Musso; sound (Dolby Digital), Juan Borrel. Reviewed at Cine Acteon, Madrid, Aug. 3, 2000. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: With: Alejandro Cano, Maria Jurado, Alvaro Gallegos, Fernando Cayo, Melanie Olivares, Pedro Segura, Begona Hernando.

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