Barcelona Film Details
Overview: An American working in Barcelona, having sworn off beautiful women, is forced to be host to his playboy cousin in this witty comedy of good intentions and mixed signals.
Tagline: Americans. Anti Americans. In Love.
Review: Barcelona: promiscuity and anti-American feeling in 1980’s Europe Ted is hard working and naive. Fred is more worldly, tactless and idiotic, constantly gossiping, causing trouble for Ted and himself. While Ted seems quite honest, Fred lies and steals, never admitting his bad behaviour. We only see Fred working once, at the end of the movie, when he prepares an article about the fleet arriving. Fred jeopardizes Ted’s relationship with Montserrat by gossiping to her friend, Marta. I enjoyed the many clever jokes throughout the movie which reveal inner truths such as bias in journalism. There is constant witty banter between the 2 American cousins. Fred: “They’re against NATO? What are they for? Soviet troops racing across Europe eating all the croissants?” Comments about physical beauty. “Beauty is the closest thing to divinity which remains in the modern world. All the old gods are dead. There is no god that we know. But in beauty, the memory of divinity remains. Beauty of female face and form”. Comments about Sexual revolution and Promiscuity. Marta: “The height of the sexual revolution is over. I don’t go to bed with just anymore anymore. I have to be attracted to them sexually.” Ted: “But I always thought that women had to have some kind of a profound emotional bond with the man, that a secure romantic relationship before they became interested in a sexual relationship.” Women and Fred: “No.” I found this movie frustrating because the men are emotionally immature and date only gorgeous women with whom they have no understanding; no connection other than sex. Their women seem either confused or disinterested whenever the American guys are talking to them. The women’s comments are variations of “what did you say?” Even after their relationships have ended, Ted expects these women, Montserrat and Marta, to help him when he mosts needs it. He is actually surprised that they don’t show up to help. Within the first 5 minutes of the movie, Ted explains to Fred that he is looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage, and how he will find that woman. “I think that falling in love with really attractive girls is really bad. Maybe by resolving to go out with only plain or homely girls, I can avoid all that. Instead of a fantasy built on her beauty, to see the real person. Maybe even look into her eyes and see her soul. I resolve to only go out with plain or homely girls.” But he ends up marrying a hot babe who he barely knows. Montserrat is in a long term common-law relationship. She dated her teacher, Ramon, when she was 15 and started their sexual relationship when she was 16. It is now at least ten years later. She is influenced by and bonded to Ramon. She is not emotionally available to Ted. Mont: “Our physical relation ended completely. He wanted an open relation. He encouraged me to go with other men.” Ted: “But you refused.” Mont: “No.” Ted: “When did you break up?” Mont: “We live together.” Even though Ted professes to look for a woman he can marry, he agrees to continue dating a woman is in a long term common-law marriage. We know it is hopeless and he will end up hurt by it. Ted’s marriage: Ted admits that his bride “is looking forward to the 80 channels of TV and the abundance of consumer products.” It seems that she just wanted to marry an American in order to live in the US. We see nothing of their romance. Their wedding comes as a surprise to the audience. They barely know each other. He is attracted to her beauty and she is attracted to living in the US. Another thing that upset me about this movie is that there were no consequences for hurtful behaviour, even crimes. No guilt, shame, or remorse. For example, Marta admits that she stole from Ted but she doesn’t apologize. Even worse, Ramon writes an article accusing Fred of being CIA, causing him to be shot. Ramon doesn’t admit guilt. Fred isn’t bothered by it, and asks Ramon to print his article about the fleet. (It is the one job that Fred had in Barcelona.) According to the IMDB summary, “their lives are irrevocably altered” by events, but I disagree. At the end of the movie, neither man has really learned anything. The only realization I can see is that Ted says their bond can not be broken because they are “only cousins”, neither of them having siblings. They are each their closest relative. Ted has to put up with Fred, who will never become less immature. Despite Ted’s resolve to search for a soul mate, he marries a beautiful woman who he barely knows. Fred dates a married woman and thinks he can make her happy. In the final scene, Ted tells us what he has learned (which is an awful sentiment): “That’s one of the great things of getting involved with someone from another country. You can’t take it personally. When we act like a$$holes or incredibly annoying, they don’t get upset at all. They don’t take it personally. They just assume it’s a national characteristic.” This tells of the power dynamic when a woman from a poorer country marries a man from a richer country. She has to put up with him. For her, it is not based on love but rather necessity.
Country: United States
Language: English, Spanish
Duration: 101 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Also known as: Barcelona,バルセロナの恋人たち,Барселона