Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
Suicide, what does the Bible say? Answer
If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer
What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone's business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
|Featuring||Javier Bardem, Patricia Clarkson, Penélope Cruz, Kevin Dunn, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Messina, Manel Barceló, Lloll Bertran, Josep Maria Domènech, Abel Folk, Lluís Homar, Joel Joan, Jaume Montané, Zak Orth, Julio Perillán, Carrie Preston, Mireia Ros, Sílvia Sabaté, Pablo Schreiber, Pilar Servent, Christopher Evan Welch|
|Producer||Letty Aronson, Bernat Elias, Charles H. Joffe, Javier Méndez, Helen Robin, Jack Rollins, Jaume Roures, Stephen Tenenbaum, Gareth Wiley|
“Life is the ultimate work of art”
Woody Allen films are, generally speaking, an acquired taste. I know many people who hear his name and shudder—memories of movies they didn't like flooding back in to their minds. His movies recently almost have to be viewed in a certain order to fully appreciate his talent; one movie watched out of turn could likely turn you off from his movies altogether.
Frankly, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” isn't for rookies to the Woody Allen experience. It's a pleasant, enjoyable film, but I can easily see how others would dislike this film a lot, and that has nothing to do with the film's content, which, sadly, should likely keep Christians away, also.
The film is about two very close friends, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) who jump at the opportunity to spend the summer staying with Vicky's relatives in Barcelona. They visit a local art gallery where Cristina can't take her eyes off of “the man in the red shirt.” She learns that he is a local painter, who gained notoriety for a nasty divorce from his artist wife, who tried to kill him. Or he tried to kill her. Nobody is really quite sure, and it doesn't matter to Cristina, who jumps at the opportunity to spend the weekend with the man in the red shirt, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem).
Vicky reluctantly joins them, mostly to keep an eye on Cristina, who is infamous for picking the wrong guys. Juan Antonio wants them both, and he makes this very clear when he asks them both to join him in his bed. Vicky is appalled, Cristina intrigued, But, a bout of food poisoning puts Cristina out of commission for a few days, forcing Vicky (who is engaged to be married) to spend a few days sightseeing with a man she initially loathes.
I will not spoil the chain of events for those interested in seeing the film, but I will add that things get even more complicated when Juan Antonio's ex wife, Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz) shows up, after just being rescued from a suicide attempt.
The content of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is fairly typical for a Woody Allen film, with a little more sexual content than we have seen from him recently. There is some language, and various uses of the Lord's name in vain. Some comic violence is seen as Maria Elena goes crazy with a gun.
The main problem Christians will have with the film is the hedonistic ways the characters live. Each seems to live only for the moment—what is pleasing them at that particular time. Sure, each character learns a little something along the way, but the path it takes to get there is fairly crude. Each character seems to have sex with each other, either on screen or implied. Vicky and Cristina don't, but it seems like everyone else does. There are a few on screen sex scenes, mostly rolling around under covers. Cristina is seen after sex with a blanket barely covering anything. Later on, she is seen kissing Maria Elena, more than once, and it is explained that they, and Juan Antonio, have a very passionate love triangle that works for each of them.
Vicky is contemplating throwing away her happy, committed relationship for something fleeting. The characters in these movies make their decisions with no regard for future consequences, and God is most certainly not the center of their decision-making process.
So, how can I say I liked a movie like this? Well, I have a fondness for the way Woody Allen draws up his characters. He understands people in a way very few writers and directors do and puts them in situations that force real thoughts and reactions to events that are not all that typical. While Woody Allen may always allow his characters free reign to their lustful desires, he finds a very interesting way to end this film. I won't obviously get into it here, but the last sentence of this movie speaks volumes about how he may actually view these mindless flings.
I should also mention that the movie is heavily narrated, which may get on some people's nerves. I enjoyed it, because it almost felt like we were watching a storybook. However, even though I enjoyed the film, I cannot recommend this film to Christians based on content we frankly don't need to expose ourselves to.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.