You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Plan B

Thoroughly engaging, off-the-cuff perfs by a winsome cast neatly counterpoint this uncompromising Argentine aestheti.

With: Manuel Vignau, Lucas Ferraro, Mercedes Quinteros, Damian Canduci, Ana Lucia Anthony, Carolina Stegmayer.

Argentinean helmer Marco Berger’s debut feature, “Plan B,” borrows the gimmicky plot conceit that improbably fuels numerous American romantic comedies — the straight guy pretending to be gay in order to get the girl — and takes it to its logical conclusion. Thoroughly engaging, off-the-cuff perfs by a winsome cast neatly counterpoint Berger’s uncompromising aesthetic, while the film’s zero-budget, HD-shot minimalism lends itself to comedy surprisingly well, accentuating the start-and-stop rhythms of unwilling attraction. Amply rewarding for patient viewers, pic’s leisurely pace and absurdist sexual waffling make it unlikely multiplex fodder, but “Plan B” should score in gay and indie venues.

Dumped by g.f. Laura (Mercedes Quinteros), Bruno (Manuel Vignau) desperately wants to reconnect. The two still occasionally enjoy companionable sex and conversation, but now she is committed to Pablo (Lucas Ferraro). Having heard from a mutual friend that Pablo once swung both ways, Bruno resolves to seduce him away from Laura, even though he sees himself as strictly straight.

Bruno doesn’t count on his growing friendship with Pablo, which deepens every time they meet. They discover mutual interests and share a sense of having been pals for years — or, more specifically, of having been best buddies at the age of 12 (not coincidentally, at the onset of puberty). And because Bruno has already made tentative overtures in pursuit of his plan, the possibility of a more overtly intimate relationship hovers over their innocent enthusiasm. The situation is further complicated when Pablo admits that he lied about his rumored gay experimentation to appear more sophisticated. The two clueless men thereupon embark on an awkward tango of desire, as touching as it is funny.

Vignau and Ferraro navigate their hang-loose roles with pitch-perfect ease, maintaining their characters’ immense likability through ridiculously attenuated attraction/repulsion interludes. Vignau, in particular, brings a naturalism to his moment-to-moment struggle with self-image that is a joy to behold.

Berger sets the constant emotional flux of his characters against a grounded sense of place, as the guys keep returning to the same narrow slices of apartment terrace, locker room or waterfront, each stopover evocatively framed with casual-seeming precision. Establishing shots of apartment buildings against the sky at different hours of the day serve less to denote time and space than to indicate the larger rhythms and sensory context of Buenos Aires.

“Plan B” depicts falling in love as a happy liberation from gender-based preconceptions and fixed scenarios, but refrains from extrapolating a moral. Rather, the film’s strength lies in its heightened awareness of momentary minutiae, imperceptible shifts of feeling mirrored in slight variations of composition and light.

Plan B


Production: A Rendez-vous Pictures presentation of an Oh my Gomez! production. (International sales: Rendez-vous Pictures, Paris.) Produced by Mariano Contreras, Ivan Bein. Directed, written, edited by Marco Berger.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Tomas Perez Silver; music, Pedro Irusta; production designer, Martin Cuinat; art director, Laura Martinez; sound (Dolby SR), Lucas Dentone. Reviewed at NewFest, New York, June 6, 2010. (Also in Frameline, Outfest; Rome, London film festivals.) Running time: 103 MIN.

With: With: Manuel Vignau, Lucas Ferraro, Mercedes Quinteros, Damian Canduci, Ana Lucia Anthony, Carolina Stegmayer.

More Film

  • UGC Distribution Closes on Mariano Cohn’s

    Ventana Sur: UGC Distribution Closes Market Hit ‘4 x 4’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — UGC Distribution has beaten out all other suitors to clinch what had became by Friday morning the most anticipated deal of this year’s Ventana Sur market: All rights to France on Argentine Mariano Cohn’s “4 x 4,” sold by Latido Films and distributed throughout Argentina by Disney. After mounting speculation about which [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Hits $152 Million at International Box Office

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” has already grossed more than $150 million outside the U.S., Michael Masini joins “Birds of Prey,” and Freestyle buys the documentary “Shamanic Trekker.” BOX OFFICE Warner Bros.’ tentpole “Aquaman” has taken in $152 million overseas in 36 markets, with $135 million of that from China, where it opened on [...]

  • 'Winter's Night' Review: Enigmatic, Offbeat Korean

    Tallinn Film Review: 'Winter's Night'

    There are thousands of films about love’s beginning, and a great many about love’s end. But far fewer deal with a relationship’s late-middle: the spreading, sluggish delta of coupledom when decades of familiarity, if they have not bred contempt, at least threaten irritation. “Winter’s Night,” Jang Woo-jin’s playfully melancholic third feature, after the acclaimed “A [...]

  • Tomasz Kot UTA

    UTA Signs ‘Cold War’ Star Tomasz Kot (EXCLUSIVE)

    UTA has signed “Cold War” star Tomasz Kot. He has appeared in more than 30 films and 26 plays as well as dozens of television series. Most recently, Kot has received award-season buzz for his starring role as Wiktor in Pawel Pawlikowski’s feature “Cold War” for Amazon. The project has earned him a nomination for [...]

  • Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening

    Kenneth Branagh's 'All Is True' Opening Palm Springs Film Festival

    The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 3 with historical drama “All Is True,” starring Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen. Branagh, who will be in attendance at the opening night screening, directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh [...]

  • Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies

    Actor and Activist Rodney Kageyama Dies at 77

    Actor, activist and influentials member of the Japanese American community, Rodney Kageyama, died in his sleep Dec. 9. He was 77. The SAG member was known for roles in “Karate Kid IV” with Hillary Swank, Ron Howard’s film “Gung Ho” and the spinoff sitcom, and the TV movie “Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes” with Max [...]

  • Most Popular Films 2018: The Best

    9 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired by This Year's Most Popular Films

    From superheroes to super nannies, 2018 was a year full of memorable characters — and memorable movies. Whether you’re a big film buff, an avid follower of a popular franchise, or have a couple movie fans in your life, here are nine gifts that capture the fun of some of this year’s biggest films. 1. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content