Between Living and Dreaming

Helming duo Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes definitively turn their backs on their early glam/camp work with "Between Living and Dreaming," an enjoyably silly, thoroughly mainstream, comedy romancer in which a midlifer tries to prove teenage love can be revived 30 years on. Though the plot is formulaic, sometimes wobbly and overlong, this is a slickly put-together package with a warm heart that could generate some offshore bookings in Spain-friendly territories.

With:
With: Carmen Maura, Alex Brendemuhl, Thierry Lhermitte, Marta Etura, Manuel Manquina, Soledad Silveyra.

Helming duo Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes definitively turn their backs on their early glam/camp work with “Between Living and Dreaming,” an enjoyably silly, thoroughly mainstream, comedy romancer in which a midlifer tries to prove teenage love can be revived 30 years on. Though the plot is formulaic, sometimes wobbly and overlong, this is a slickly put-together package with a warm heart that could generate some offshore bookings in Spain-friendly territories.

Eternal optimist Ana (vet Carmen Maura) leaves hubby Felix (Manuel Manquina) in Madrid and heads for Paris – ostensibly to give a Spanish cooking course, but really in search of Pierre Langlois (Thierry Lhermitte), with whom she had a summertime flirtation as a teenager. Ana stays in the apartment of eccentric florist Jean-Francois (a superbly spiky Alex Brendemuhl), who takes a shine to her. Things develop efficiently but predictably, with regular flashbacks and an unnecessary voiceover. Most thesps mine something extra from their roles, particularly Soledad Silveyra as Ana’s shy childhood friend turned middle-aged livewire Veronica, who gets the best lines. Juan Bardem’s score is pleasant Gallicised fare.

Between Living and Dreaming

Spain

Production: An Aurum release of a Rodar & Rodar production, with participation of TVE, Canal Plus, TVC. (International sales: Aurum, Madrid.) Produced by Joaquin Padro, Mar Targarona. Directed by Alfonso Albacete, David Menkes. Screenplay, Albacete, Menkes, Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde.

Crew: Camera (color), David Carretero; editor, Nacho Ruiz-Capillas; music, Juan Bardem. Reviewed at Palacio de la Prensa, Madrid, Feb. 3, 2005. Original title: Entre vivir y sonar. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: With: Carmen Maura, Alex Brendemuhl, Thierry Lhermitte, Marta Etura, Manuel Manquina, Soledad Silveyra.

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