Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fun from Mexico -- no kidnappings, minimal drugs -- in Manolo Caro's screwball rom-com, TALES OF AN IMMORAL COUPLE

If one purpose of movies is to take us away from the horrors and drudgery of reality -- all too evident these days -- young Mexican filmmaker Manolo Caro is certainly doing his job to a "t." His latest work, the first to find theatrical release here in the United States, TALES OF AN IMMORAL COUPLE  (La vida immoral de la pareja ideal), is quite the little charmer. In it, ex-lovers who first bonded during high school, meet again 25 years later and, sure enough, romance blooms anew, even as screwball comedy quickly rules the roost.

Señor Caro, shown at left, has created a trifle as adorable and pixie-like as he himself seems to be: full of fun and amusement, even as it probes themes as everlasting as love, sex and the meaning of fidelity -- with dollops of satire tossed in, the welcome objects of which are religion and politics.

His movie, while breaking little new ground, manages to cover the ground it trods with energy, sparkle and enough wit to keep us with it all the way. Its introduction into the kids' lives of heterosexuality, as well as homo- and bi-sexuality is handled well, too. Of enormous help to all this is the near-constant inter-cutting of past and present, as we see the couple as youngsters and then as adults.

The smart flashback-and-forth conception (by Caro) and on-the-mark editing -- from Yibran Asuad (Güeros and We Are the Flesh) and Miguel Musálem -- helps keep the pacing swift and fun, while the excellent ensemble cast (pictured on poster, top, and above) help bring each character to amusing life.

As the two love-struck kids, Sebastián Aguirre (above, right, from A Monster With a Thousand Heads) and Ximena Romo (above, left ) prove lovely, sensitive and youthfully ignorant, while Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (below, left) and Cecilia Suárez (below, right) bring the pair to more hesitant, suspicious and cynical adult life.

Supporting characters -- kids to adults -- are specific and funny, as well, while Caro's plotting brings us pleasantly and fairly speedily to a close, at last solving the mystery that will be foremost in viewers' minds: How come these two "seahorses" remained apart for so long? You'll find out, and I suspect the answer will satisfy you every bit as much as has the fun leading up to it.

From Hola Mexico and running a just-right 91 minutes, Tales of an Immoral Couple opens this Friday, August 25, nationwide in limited release. In the Los Angeles area, look for it at Laemmle theaters and elsewhere. Click here (and then click on THEATERS on the task bar midway down) to see all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed.  But be careful and maybe check with your local theater before heading out, as some of these supposed playdates appear not to be happening....

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