Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Reverend's Reviews: B Movie
From the land of Eva Peron, Argentina, comes the satisfyingly unpredictable Plan B (available on DVD today courtesy of Wolfe Video and Oh My Gomez! Films). When Bruno (Manuel Vignau) finds himself unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend, Laura (Mercedes Quinteros), he begins to plot his revenge. He befriends her new boyfriend, Pablo (Lucas Ferraro, who looks like a buffer version of Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal from Y Tu Mamá También), with the intention of hooking him up with another woman. However, when Bruno is informed by a mutual friend (erroneously, it turns out) that the oblivious Pablo has had sex with a man, Bruno decides to break him and his ex up by seducing Pablo himself.
Since they work out together at the same gym, Bruno is able to approach Pablo easily. They bond over the Lost-esque, fictional TV series Blind and quickly discover other mutual interests. Soon, they are sleeping over at each other's apartments. "You are like my 12-year old friend," Pablo tells Bruno, "and I don't want to share you."
Things only get more complicated from there. Marco Berger, the director of Plan B, and his cast have a great sense of timing and pacing. Berger also allows the camera to linger frequently and lovingly over Bruno's and Pablo's sleeping bodies, clad only in briefs. Despite both men's professed heterosexuality, they become more attracted to and emotionally involved with each other. The two start out rather off-puttingly grungy, needing shaves and haircuts. By the film's end, however, each has undergone a metrosexual transformation.
Plan B is the latest entry in a growing number of films from Latin America (From Beginning to End and Undertow (Contracorriente) being other recent examples) that challenge assumptions regarding male relationships. I, for one, appreciate these filmmakers' willingness to explore the shades of grey that can color friendships and even sibling relations. As one of the central characters in Plan B tells the other, "Whatever you do won't change what should be"; if only all men were so enlightened.
Reverend's Rating: A-
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.