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Movie Review

Love in the Time of Cholera a.k.a. “L' Amore ai tempi del colera,” “Kolera günlerinde ask,” “Die Liebe in den Zeiten der Cholera,” “Rakkautta koleran aikaan”

MPAA Rating: R for sex content/nudity and brief language

Reviewed by: Jennifer Constantine

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Drama, Romance, Adaptation
2 hr. 18 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 16, 2007
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema
About nudity

Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer


Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer


How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to sex (or pornography)? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

Prostitution in the Bible


How can we know there’s a God? Answer

What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer

If God made everything, who made God? Answer

What does God say? Answer

Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Copyright, New Line Cinema
Featuring: Javier Bardem
The Sea Inside
Salvatore Basile, Alicia Borrachero, Benjamin Bratt, Adriana Cantor, Patricia Castañeda, Angie Cepeda, Hector Elizondo, Laura Harring, John Leguizamo, Rubria Marcheens Negrao, Marcela Mar, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Fernanda Montenegro
Catalina Sandino Moreno
Maria Full of Grace,” “Fast Food Nation
Andrés Parra, Noëlle Schonwald, Liev Schreiber, Indhira Serrano, Ana Claudia Talancón, Paola Turbay, Unax Ugalde
Director: Mike Newell
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Mona Lisa Smile
Producer: Noel Donnellon, Brantley M. Dunaway, Danny Greenspun, Robin Greenspun, Scott LaStaiti, Chris Law, Jose Ludlow, Andrew Molasky, Michael Nozik, David Z. Obadiah, Michael Roban, Dylan Russell, Scott Steindorff
Distributor: New Line Cinema

This movie was adapted from the novel El Amor en los Tiempos del Colera by Gabriel García Márquez.

“How long would you wait for love?”

There is more nudity in “Love in the Time of Cholera” than in any movie I have ever seen before. I hate to start out my review like that, but coming away from the theater, that is what stayed with me more than any great story, stunning performance, or any redeeming qualities I could have written about. It simply overshadowed everything else.

The story follows the lives of Florentino Ariza and Fermentina Daza over a span of several decades in Columbia at the end of the 19th century. Florentino and Fermentina meet, fall in love, and decide to marry, but Florentina’s father decides Florentino isn’t good enough for his daughter and moves the family away. Our hero and heroine vow to remain true to each other. Young Florentino is so endearing as he pines, proudly telling his friends and some prostitutes that he wants to stay a virgin until he marries Fermantina.

The years pass, and although Fermantina seems to remain untouched by time, it is apparent that being away from his love has aged Florentino considerably. Perhaps for this reason, when they are finally reunited, Fermantina rejects Florentino, telling him their love was only an illusion. Shortly after, she marries Dr. Juvenal Urbino.

The rest of the movie shows Florentino trying to hold onto the hope that Fermentina will return, at first with a child-like faith, but eventually he becomes little more than a dirty old man who sleeps with any woman who has a pulse to help him cope. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that what the audience has to sit through to get to the conclusion is not worth it.

In addition to the aforementioned nudity, other negatives include the casual attitude towards premarital sex and a lack of respect for the sanctity of marriage. There are several scenes showing couples having sex, and a scene where Florentino is raped, but decides he likes sex, and the movie makes light of the whole situation. In another scene, Fermantina asks Florentino if he believes in God, and he says no, but he is afraid of Him. There is one instance each of the f-word, hell, and damn.

[How can we know there’s a God? Answer]

I’m not sure that any of the characters in the movie really understood anything about love. Florentino talks about love a lot, and he is portrayed in a positive light, but his behavior is very opposite of biblical love, which is laying your life down for another that they might live. If the reader wishes to know more about faithfulness and love, I would recommend skipping this movie and spending some time with Jesus, who is the ultimate example of both.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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Movie Critics
…Faithful to the outline of the novel but emotionally and spiritually anemic, it slides into the void between art and entertainment, where well-intended would-be screen epics often land with a thud. …
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
…Is it tragedy, or soap opera? Ah, that’s where Garcia Marquez has us. It is both, at the same time, and sad and funny, and there is foolishness in it, and drollery, and his prose dances over the contradictions. …
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…it’s a sumptuous tale of love, romance and good old-fashioned sex. But Bardem’s performance is so good that it’s easy to overlook Cholera’s many other charms. …
—Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic
…Sex/Nudity: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Violence: Moderate… Sexually related dialogue is present, as is the sight of various sexual encounters (in various positions, with movement, nudity and sounds). Nonsexual nudity (bare breasts) is also viewed…
…the lovesick Florentino Ariza, insufficiently fleshed out, comes off as a crazed stalker, a guy who needs to get a life…
—The Associated Press