Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.

film Home > Movie Reviews

Film Clips

Vicky Christina Barcelona

Vicky Christina Barcelona

Director:Woody Allen
Cast:Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Messina, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, Javier Bardem, Peneloe Cruz
Release Date:2008

By Bret McCabe | Posted 8/13/2008

Woody Allen continues to work across the pond, this time in Spain's sunny climes rather than dour London, and his tone is more upbeat. Vicky (Rebecca Hall, Kate Beckinsale's mini-me) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are two twentysometing Americans summering in Barcelona, the former finishing her dissertation, the latter just sort of kicking about. Such are their personalities: Vicky is the never impetuous woman engaged to a solidly upwardly mobile Doug (Chris Messina); Vicky is the impulsive romantic readymade to fall for the brooding artist type. So when painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) invites them for a weekend of sightseeing and hopefully carnal delights, Cristina warms to the offer while Vicky verbally balks. It's the Allen version of meeting cute and letting the romantic entanglements wind themselves into a knot. While definitely funnier than Allen's last stab at comedic dalliance--the stillborn Scoop--Barcelona is weighted down by Johansson's one-dimensional performance, which isn't that obvious until Juan's ex-wife, the live wire Maria Elena (played with sensual brio by Penelope Cruz) enters the shifting love triangles and you wish Allen wrote a movie that was nothing but Cruz and Barden having animated, heated arguments about life and love in Spanish. Frequently witty, but nothing more.

E-mail Bret McCabe

Comments powered by Disqus
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter