With or Without Love

Technically polished, fast-moving screwball musical laffer is retrograde hit-and-miss fare.

With: Quim Gutierrez, Angie Cepeda, Juana Acosta, Eduardo Blanco, Miren Ibarguren, Kito Manver, Diego Martin, Isabel Ordaz.

As a scriptwriter, David Serrano hit the B.O. jackpot in 2002 with the musical comedy “The Other Side of the Bed,” and eight years later, his third feature as helmer, “With or Without Love,” aims to revive the formula. This technically polished, fast-moving screwball musical laffer is retrograde hit-and-miss fare with a reheated script, a truly appalling score and many failed gags, but it retains just enough pizzazz to ensure decent B.O. in Spanish-speaking territories (thesps are both Spanish and Latin American), but not beyond.

Married superbitch Claudia (Peruvian actress Angie Cepeda) has been dumped by her lover, Pablo (Quim Gutierrez). Aided by her sister Monica (Juana Acosta), Claudia plots to win him back. Perfs are bubbly, particularly from Cepeda and Miren Ibarguren as Pablo’s new g.f. both showing real comic clout. About seven jokes work OK, but far more rep a litany of wasted opportunities, especially one involving the fact that Monica literally flies when she’s in love. Choreography is less than spectacular, pic sometimes forgets it’s a musical at all, and the score, apparently culled directly from old James Last LPs, beggars belief.

With or Without Love


Production: A Vertice Cine release of a Telespan 2000, LaZona Films/Dynamo production, with the participation of TVE, Canal Plus. (International sales: Vertice Sales, Madrid.) Produced by Tomas Cimadevilla. Executive producers, Maria Angulo, Marta Pastor, David Serrano, Joe Herrero de Egana, Ignacio Salazar-Simpson, Andres Calderon, Cristian Conti, Rodrigo Guerrero. Directed by David Serrano. Screenplay, Serrano, Olga Iglesias.

Crew: Camera (color), Carlos Ferro; editor, Nacho Ruiz Capillas; music, Ernesto Millan, Alejandro Serrano, Jose Angel Sagi. Reviewed at Malaga Film Festival (competing), April 23, 2010. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Quim Gutierrez, Angie Cepeda, Juana Acosta, Eduardo Blanco, Miren Ibarguren, Kito Manver, Diego Martin, Isabel Ordaz.

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