A correction was made to this review on Dec. 9, 2003.
A vehicle for Spanish showman Pablo Carbonell and helmed by a member of one of Spain’s premier comedy outfits (Paco Mir’s El Tricicle), “The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant” raises an occasional smile but is largely indigestible. Thanks to Carbonell’s rep and the original novel’s cult status, pic opened decently Nov. 21, and Latin American markets will likely warm to the confection. However, offshore prospects are slim, thanks to the anything-goes plotline, lack of warmth and general derivativeness.
Drugs-fueled, sexist slob Pablo Miralles (Carbonell) is a supposedly loveable rogue whose yuppie brother, property developer Sebastian (Jose Coronado), mysteriously disappears. Encouraged by Sebastian’s wife, Gloria (Marta Belastegui), and aided by g.f. Fina (Nathalie Sesena), Pablo sets about finding him. Taller-than-tall tale runs through an incoherent gamut of private detectives, computer hackers, and charming/evil foreigners on its way to a pretentious, quasi-metaphorical conclusion. Baby-faced Carbonell has a winning screen presence but tries too hard to be endearing. Other positives include a nicely surreal visual sense, a healthy lack of political correctness and occasional sharp dialogue.