The poster for Vicky Cristina Barcelona shows us the main leads. One, which is by the way the most attractive one, is missing; Spain. Spain is a character of it’s own in this movie, breathing life in what is a simple story complicated relationships. Next to Spain we have locals Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz and foreigner Scarlett Johansson who plays Cristina. Not on the poster but importanté to the plot is Rebecca Hall as Vicky.
Cristina and her friend Vicky holiday in Barcelona where they meet the celebrated and wholly seductive painter, Juan Antonio. Cristina is sexually adventurous while Vicky is not about to dive into a sexual adventure being committed to her forthcoming marriage. This does not prevent the latter to join Juan and Cristina on a trip to Oviedo were eventually Cristina ends up being sick and Vicky having sex with Juan. For Juan this, knowing about her forthcoming marriage, is a one time thing and he eventually hooks up with Cristina while Vicky becomes unsure about her marriage. Meanwhile Juan’s ex comes back into his life after a failed suicide attempt and that is the start of a (bisexual) love triangle between her, Cristina and Juan.
If one of the characters had an STD then at the end the majority of cast would have had it. There’s really a lot of fornicating going on here. Bad news; it’s really tame and nude-less. For a movie dealing with sex it’s shockingly prude. Standout scene is one which could have been made for a daytime soap: A couple, sleeping (almost) nude in the hot climate of Spain is being awakened at night by the telephone. Lights come on and Cristina covers her boobs with the blanket. She is next to the man she had sex with but she’s constantly positioning her blanket so that here boobs are covered. Now it might be me, but I’ve never had sex and afterwards had a conversation with her while she is constantly trying to cover her body. That scene felt so fake.
Apart from the sex there’s quite a strong cast here who play their roles with passion. Especially Penélope Cruz, who bursts of the screen. Like I mentioned earlier, Spain is a character of it’s own and it’s scenery really sets the mood for the passion in the storyline. The script is fun, but far from perfect. Same can be said about the movie. One thing that makes it far from perfect is the voiceover. Now it’s not that it’s there, although it doesn’t really add anything but explaining everythimg we see on the screen, it’s that the person doing the voiceover is no Morgan Freeman. Far from it. He’s quite annoying and it would have benefitted the movie if it was removed or replace.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is fun little movie, but nothing special.