Much more accessible than his earlier, intensely experimental features, Vicente Perez Herrero’s low-key comedy-drama, “100 Ways to Kill Love,” is a deft take on the emotional chaos at the heart of its thirtysomething protag’s life. Though the pic offers little novelty and is uncertain in tone, the script contains moments of real insight. Film was made before the helmer’s well-received docu “Skin for Sale,” but was released only in Spain in late 2005. Limited fest berths look possible.
Story is set in summer, in Madrid and Valencia, seemingly populated by emotional wrecks. Insecure fence-sitter Jorge (Sergi Calleja) is an underemployed scriptwriter, separated from his wife Sara (Rosana Pastor), who’s now with Daniel (Gines Garcia Millan), and young daughter Cristina (Carmela Quijano). Jorge befriends wealthy stockbroker Carlos (Carlos Bardem), who has a thing for a porn actress (Malena Conde); meanwhile, he flirts with student Sara (Maria Almudever) and Lola (Carme Elias), Daniel’s girlfriend. Film is a decent X-ray of a society peopled with professionals who can’t commit emotionally, though Calleja sometimes struggles as its emotional center. Mario de Benito’s lilting score is attractive, while d.p. Federico Ribes superbly renders night-time atmospherics.