Crazy

"Crazy" covers territory about the neuroses of love-hungry femmes that's already been done to death in Spanish film.

With:
With: Veronica Forque, Silvia Abascal, Concha Velasco, Juli Mira, Asuncion Balaguer, Jesus Cabrero, Juana Cordero, Elisa Matilla, Javier Blanes, Merche Suance.

Arriving like a homage to Pedro Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” on that pic’s 20th anniversary, “Crazy” covers territory about the neuroses of love-hungry femmes that’s already been done to death in Spanish film. In spite of a few moments of authentic wit and a lively perf from Veronica Forque in a role tailored for her, little elevates this above any number of other well-honed farces. In-jokes and multiple refs to Madrid will make pic a hard sell away from home turf, but fests could take a liking to what is, nonetheless, an above-par, typically Spanish laffer.

Blanca (Silvia Abascal) tells her Aunt Barbara (Forque) that she met the guy of her dreams in a gardening center but he disappeared. The pair go in pursuit of Mr. Right, whose picture Blanca has seen in the apartment of elderly couple Ramon (Juli Mira) and Carmen (Asuncion Balaguer), who say he’s their son, but he has been dead for five years.

The fact that he was an actor leads aunt and niece to Barbara’s friend Nuria (vet Spanish thesp Concha Velasco, hamming it up enjoyably in a parody of herself as an old-style diva).

Enlisting the help of Andrea (Elsa Matilla), who believes she is the reincarnation of Eva Peron, the two women stumble around a Madrid full of roadworks (the most significant of the in-jokes).

Pic is slickly scripted with a lively enough plot, but never breaks out of the straitjacket of farce, with scenes of Barbara and Blanca in a sex club well-played but deja vu. Hits on the gag front are nearly outweighed by the misses.

Humor mostly centers on Barbara’s middle-aged insecurities — and the vanity of the wonderfully fruity Velasco, whose success has turned into disdain for her public. Abascal, not normally a comic thesp, is fine as the foil to Forque’s perpetual fussiness. Visuals have a bright, poppy flavor that also seems borrowed from early Almodovar.

Crazy

Spain

Production: An El Paso release of an El Paso, Cuarteto, Hispanocine, Notro Films production with the participation of TVE, RTVV. (International sales: El Paso, Madrid.) Produced by Marc Cases, Sergio Castellote, Beatriz Navarrete, Carlos Ibanez, Oscar del Caz. Directed by Juan Luis Iborra. Screenplay, Iborra, Antonio Albert.

Crew: Camera (color), Joaquin Manchado; editor, Irene Blecua; music, Jose Reinoso; art director, Papick Lozano; sound (Dolby Digital), Juan Borrell. Reviewed at Malaga Film Festival (competing), April 9, 2008. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Veronica Forque, Silvia Abascal, Concha Velasco, Juli Mira, Asuncion Balaguer, Jesus Cabrero, Juana Cordero, Elisa Matilla, Javier Blanes, Merche Suance.

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