×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

I Want You

As a slab of gleaming, irony-free entertainment for undemanding teens, Fernando Gonzalez Molina's "I Want You" is just fine.

With:
With: Mario Casas, Maria Valverde, Clara Lago, Alvaro Cervantes, Marina Salas, Nerea Camacho, Carme Elias. (Spanish dialogue)

As a slab of gleaming, irony-free entertainment for undemanding teens, Fernando Gonzalez Molina’s “I Want You” is just fine. A sequel to the helmer’s “Three Steps Above Heaven,” this latest adaptation of a Federico Moccia novel similarly features sex, violence, motorcycles and eye-catching visuals aplenty. But while it’s superficially about teen rebellion, this is actually a conservative, unchallenging love story build around crowdpleasing stereotypes dating back to the James Dean era. Pic took more than €4 million ($5 million) its first weekend, with Italian and Latin American territories most likely to feel the desire offshore.

Hache (Mario Casas) returns to Spain after two years in London, his heart still broken by the death of his best friend, Pollo (Alvaro Cervantes), and by having loved and lost Babi (Maria Valverde), in the first film. The big question for Spanish auds this time is: Will Hache and Babi get back together?

When his beloved motorcycle gets knocked over by Gin (Clara Lago), a wild-child photographer, singer and dancer, Hache is immediately smitten, though he still spends a lot of time loitering near Babi’s home, as the script contrives to keep them separate for most of the picture. Hache also sometimes communes with Pollo’s ghost, who lectures him about how times change. Subplots include a mean-spirited, moralizing little tale about Babi’s little sister, Daniela (Nerea Camacho), getting pregnant.

The script is effectively a melodrama, with typical teen confusions inflated to epic proportions and then backed with epic music (much of it sounding sub-U2) and epic, show-offy visuals: One sex scene takes place in silhouette on a dangerous ledge high above a stunning, digitally enhanced Barcelona skyline.

However, the dialogue’s efforts to sound grandiose end up merely hackneyed. “I hate guys like you,” Gin tells Hache. “What, irresistible ones?” he replies, a line that only someone like famously weedy Brit thesp Charles Hawtrey could deliver effectively. Such nonsense does little for the chemistry between Hache and Gin, especially as it’s hard to see why a smart girl like her would even get off her bike for a lunk like him. But unlike the earlier pic, this one does play a bit with gender expectations, and the independent, no-nonsense and ambitious Gin is the real heart of things, leaving the prim and proper Babi looking rather dull.

Casas brings new depth and a newly melancholy air to the role of a soulful-eyed, suffering stallion. His superb physique, often clad in a Stooges T-shirt, is fully exploited, and interestingly suggests that Hache is always about to explode into violence; sex with him invariably involves being lifted off the ground. Music, when it moves away from a couple of attractive ballads by Lago and the aforementioned U2 ripoffs, is bland orchestral fare. Irene Blecua’s editing is superb.

Popular on Variety

I Want You

Spain

Production: A Warner Bros. release of a Zeta Cinema, Antena 3 Films, Cangrejo Films y Globomedia Cine production in association with Antena 3, La Sexta. (Imagina Intl. Sales, Madrid.) Produced by Francisco Ramos, Mercedes Gamero, Daniel Ecija, Alex Pina. Directed by Fernando Gonzalez Molina. Screenplay, Ramon Salazar, based on the novel by Federico Moccia.

Crew: Camera (color), Xavi Gimenez; editor, Irene Blecua; music, Manel Santiesteban; art director, Patrick Salvador; set decorator, Eva Torres; costume designer, Loles Garcia; sound (Dolby Digital), Dani Fontrodona; supervising sound editor, Alvaro Lopez-Arregui; assistant director, Fernando Trullols; casting, Luis San Narciso, Tonucha Vidal, Andres Cuenca. Reviewed at Cines Conde Duque Alberto Aguilera, Madrid, June 28, 2012. Running time: 124 MIN.

With: With: Mario Casas, Maria Valverde, Clara Lago, Alvaro Cervantes, Marina Salas, Nerea Camacho, Carme Elias. (Spanish dialogue)

More Film

  • Maelle Arnaud

    Lumière Chief Programmer Maelle Arnaud: 'Film History Doesn't Have Parity'

    LYON, France   — As the Lumière Institute’s head programmer since 2001, Maelle Arnaud helped launched the Lumière Festival in 2009 and has watched it grow in international esteem over the decade that followed. This year, the festival ran 190 films across 424 screenings in theaters all over town. The festival will come to a [...]

  • Girl with Green Eyes

    Talking Pictures TV: Bringing the Past Back to Life in the U.K.

    LYON, France – Since its launch in 2015, Talking Pictures TV has become the fastest-growing independent channel in the U.K. with a growing library of British film and TV titles that span five decades, according to founder Noel Cronin. Noel Cronin attended the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, where he [...]

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content