CHEF -- probably the most popular would-be "independent" film of the current year and a movie that everyone I know who goes to movies seemed to enjoy -- my spouse declared, "Feel-good movies are like pornography." "What do you mean?" I immediately asked him. He shrugged and answered, "I just feel that way about them." I mulled over his statement -- which all of a sudden seemed to make very good sense. "Are you saying," I enquired, "that watching pornography gives you inflated -- and mostly wrong -- notions about sex and how it should be, in the same way as feel-good movies give you inflated -- and mostly wrong -- notions about life and how it should be?"
Jon Favreau, pictured above) is an irony that actually adds to its burden. If it weren't so damn clever and enjoyble, you could see through it more quickly and keenly.
AZUL Y NO TAN ROSA (Blue and Not Quite Pink, in the English translation), which is being released to DVD with the simpler but not nearly as smart title, My Straight Son, is much less glossy and expertly finished yet is by far the stronger film. More melodramatic than it needs to be, and biting off such a huge chunk of "life" that you just know it won't be able to digest it all, the movie (written and directed by Miguel Ferrari, shown at right) turns out to offer us nothing less than the coming-of-age of an entire country, Venezuela -- from individuals and family to police, priests and the media. The subject, around which the movie circles and about which the populace is educated, concerns the rights of "the other," with particular emphaiss on the GLBT population.
Guillermo García, above, right), and his straight teenage son, Armondo (Ignacio Montes, above, left). The two have not seen each other for some years, and now Armondo, who lives in Spain with his mom, has come for an enforced and extended visit with a dad at whom he is very angry, and who is about to start a new life with his lover, a successful and kindly gynecologist named Fabrizio (Sócrates Serrano, below).
Hilda Abrahamz, below, left), and Perla Marina, Diego's assistant at work (Carolina Torres), are faced with their own issues of finding one's place in the world and spousal abuse.
Beatriz Valdés, below). This is absolutely plum, and the short speech given by Delirio at movie's end, which in other circumstances might be heavy-handed, here seems just about perfect.
Univeral Pictures -- has probably been viewed by one hundred times the audience that will see My Straight Son, I urge you to check out the latter, from TLA Releasing, and available now for both sale and rental.