Last night Valerie watched Love in the Time of Cholera while I was in the room, so while I wasn’t actively participating in the viewing experience, I couldn’t help but observe the ridiculousness.
I really don’t mind spoiling anything here since you probably aren’t planning to see it. If you were, well, I’m saving you the trouble. Here’s the gist: Dude meets girl during late teens or something. Dude falls for girl even though he barely knows her. Girl’s dad doesn’t like it because dude is of little financial means. Dad takes girl away from dude, marries her off to doctor. Dude irrationally clings to memory of girl, plans to save himself for her no matter how long it takes. Until dude is pulled into a dark cabin on a river boat for some anonymous coupling. Now dude decides that sex dulls the pain of pining for this girl he met back in the day. Dude proceeds to nail any willing lady he meets, until one day when he’s in his seventies, girl’s husband dies. He meets her, writes to her, convinces her to be with him like he’s always wanted. Hooray.
While even that shell of a summary is horribly stupid, the details are what makes it worse. The movie attempts to be romantic, but the dude actually keeps score of all his…um…scores. At several points throughout the film we hear him recounting his various adventures in love-making in between throw-away scenes of social/political upheaval and the girl’s domestic life with her doctor husband. It’s hard to take our protagonist’s stories as anything other than comical, so we we’re left with a story that plays at love and romance but fails utterly.
Even Valerie agrees with me in giving this movie a 2 out of 5 stars. It gets two because at least the lead roll was played sorta well by Javier Bardem, but he does little to salvage a ship that seems designed to sink.