Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Movie Review: Vicky Christina Barcelona

Hotel on Square in Puebla, Mexico, Photo taken by vkc (Flickr)

I saw the new Woody Allen film yesterday, Vicky Christina Barcelona. I just loved it. It is funny as hell. And man does that Javier Bardem look mighty fine. Much better than he did with that horrible haircut in No Country for Old Men.

This film made me think of the summer of 1990 I spent in Mexico when I had a wild fling with a sexy lawyer. The college friend I was traveling with met a poet and left with him for a weekend in San Miguel de Allende.

Long story short, after she took off, I met a sexy lawyer in an Armani suit in Mexico City. He helped me with directions for a bus ride to Puebla. We ended up traveling to Puebla together in his fancy black car, spent a most romantic afternoon in a cafe on the square, drinking wine, watching the afternoon rain shower, listening to the church bells echoing through the square, and ended up in a swanky hotel for the night and better part of the morning. A very good memory.

I thought that was the end of the story. A sort of a "what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico." But this man insisted on coming up to see me. While picking him up at the airport, we had a moment of uncomfortable silence in the terminal.

I took him to my apartment in downtown Long Beach, across the street from the ocean. I opened up a bottle of champagne on my balcony, we clinked our glasses saying "salud" simultaneously. We looked out at the ocean silently. Before I had a chance to take a second sip of champagne, this man turned to face me and said, "marry me."

I told him a night in Puebla wasn't really enough to marry someone. He disagreed vehemently. He said our passion was principal. His exact words, "la cama es principal, Maria, es principal."

I said no of course to this proposal. I had to finish college. We did enjoy a week of unbridled passion together. If any of you watch the program Weeds on Showtime, this man is very much like the mayor of Tijuana Mary Louise Parker's character is sleeping with on the show.

During the next four years, this man wrote me the most romantic love letters (which I have saved), sent expensive gifts on my birthday, and called from time to time to invite me to meet him in some exotic location.

Anyway, go see this film. And if you think it strange that Javier Bardem's character approaches the two beautiful American tourists in a restaurant after an art opening and asks them both to take a small plane to a different town for the weekend, think again. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Even if you never had some wild fling (which I bet most of you have), this film takes you to the heart of Barcelona, love, lust, and passion. Made me want to get on a plane.

One last thing, when I left the movie theater, I took my car to a self serve car wash. I was so caught up in thinking about that night in Puebla, I drove off without rinsing the soap off my car. I was halfway home before I even noticed.

Addendum: I wrote an addendum to this post after many asked why I did not take Saul up on his marriage proposal. It explains in more detail why I said no, no, no. The addendum can be found on my Sept. 11th post, Addendum to Vicky and Sexy Lawyer.

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