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:: Sex And Lucia

Sex and Lucia certainly has a lot of the former, much of it with the latter, though some involves a shower head, a dildo, the boyfriend of a pornstar mother and a fateful night on an island beach. Confused yet? Don’t worry, you will be.

The story centres on a young writer Lorenzo, and his girlfriend, Lucia (Paz Vega, Talk To Her). He is obsessed with a one-night stand he had six years ago with a total stranger and she is wholeheartedly in love with him and his writing. They spend the first half of the film acting out their love, but then a child who may or not be his comes into the picture and her babysitter, the babysitter’s mother and her boyfriend become the basis of a new novel, or are they created by the novel? It’s not clear.

When Lucia thinks that Lorenzo has been killed in an accident she takes off to the island where Lorenzo claims he had the best sex of his life and unwittingly becomes the boarder of the woman Lorenzo had the one stand with. Then there’s Carlos the well endowed diver, who is also Antonio the porn star’s boyfriend, and that’s just the bits I could keep track of.

Julio Medem, director of Lovers Of The Arctic Circle, who combined a screenplay and a novel to produce this film piles coincidence upon coincidence, love triangle upon love triangle in this erotic melodrama. The confusing nature of the plot does little to aid the characters that are all difficult to like, with the exception of Lucia. What she’s doing with a self obsessed schmuck like Lorenzo I couldn’t understand. Paz Varda won the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar, the Goya, for her role as Lucia and it’s easy to see why. She is bright, sensual and fun in a role that doesn’t really give her anywhere to go. She is much sexier than the cold Penelope Cruz and a lot less stick like.

I can’t help but feel that this was intended to be shot on film. The digital format does not do justice to the sun drenched beaches and leaves everything looking a little overexposed and washed out. Medem must surely have wanted a lush, sexy look for this lush, sexy film. It is almost as outrageous as Almodovar but takes itself a little too seriously when there is not much there. The central tragedy is unconvincingly shot, I can only assume for budget reasons, and so a lot of its power is lost. The story is also not about the people the tragedy most effects, so it seems more like a plot device.

Sex and Lucia is certainly an anti dote to the prim, antiseptic love scenes of mainstream Hollywood cinema. It is also a lot more graphic.