Story un­ex­pect­edly lack­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

IT is hard to think there would ever be a time I would tire of see­ing a film set in the Big Ap­ple.

Scenes filmed against a back­drop of the city that never sleeps, from the Man­hat­tan sky­line and bright lights of Broad­way to res­i­den­tial rooftop gar­dens. So it was ex­cit­ing to see The Un­ex­pected Life (La Vida In­es­per­ada) pro­grammed in this year’s Span­ish Film Fes­ti­val, an in­ter­na­tional co-pro­duc­tion be­tween Spain and the USA with English sub­ti­tles.

The film fol­lows the ex­pe­ri­ence of Span­ish im­mi­grant Juanito (Ca­mara), who for the past 10 years has scraped by in New York pur­su­ing his first pas­sion, act­ing, but never quite get­ting his big break and sub­si­dis­ing his in­come work­ing as a waiter and teach­ing Span­ish cooking classes (de­spite hav­ing no cooking ex­pe­ri­ence). Juanito’s life is hum­ming along un­til es­tranged cousin Primo (Raul Arevalo) vis­its from the moth­er­land and dis­rupts his rou­tine.

The clunky script tries to ex­am­ine what it means to be a Spa­niard living in New York and at times does this quite well, but it also leaves the viewer slightly un­der­whelmed.

The off-beat ro­man­tic com­edy tack­les an in­ter­est­ing sub­ject and is a lit­tle lack­ing in co­he­sive sto­ry­line, but makes up for it with the pulse of the ur­ban con­crete jun­gle.

The Un­ex­pected Life (La Vida In­es­per­ada) is show­ing at Cinema Par­adiso, North­bridge, on Sun­day, May 3. The Span­ish Film Fes­ti­val is show­ing now un­til May 6. Full pro­gram at www.spanishfilmfestival.com.

Raul Arevalo and Javier Ca­mara

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