Sex, Shame & Tears (1999)
A comedic drama featuring two couples and two old friends in Mexico City. Tomas visits Carlos and Ana, while Miguel and Andrea are joined by Maria. The presence of guests triggers lust, rejection, infidelities, reconciliation and other consequences.
Waste of time
In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.
While it doesn't offer any answers, it both thrills and makes you think.
I found this movie very strange in many ways. I can't see it as a comedy, as many people suggest, but more like a drama.The reason why I didn't liked this movie so much, is because the story,that is very confusing and also surreal. For example, how can a husband, that doesn't have desire for his wife,suddenly starts to like and have a crush on her again? Or even worst,accepts her back after seeing that she betrayed him?I also found that the friendship between Andrea and Maria totally odd. I mean,Andrea sees her husband Miguel and Maria , having affairs all the time,and even on that way she continues to be friend of Maria.Not to mention Tomas,that is a don juan who loves to be with many different women,and starts to have a crisis,wanting only one woman,all of sudden.Maybe I couldn't understand the movie very well; but anyway, I found it odd.
In its context, Sexo, Pudor, y Lagrimas IS groundbreaking... I personally dislike the film, but I recognise its importance; seldom had this dialogue been uttered in Spanish in Mexican screens. Yet it is exactly there that the problem lies, I suppose: while some of the ideas espoused are valid, it would be disingenuous to say they are fresh. A lot of it has a nagging, self-congratulatory feel, and the blend of philosophical reflection with farce would be better left to a seasoned filmmaker such as Woody Allen. For something that aspires to be so authentic, it feels stilted and irrelevant; it brings nothing new to the table. In hindsight, given the film's ambitions, the execution (poorly written characters, contrived situations, overly obvious--show, not tell, right?--points) seems all too... vulgar. The salvation: good performances, especially from Cecilia Suarez, who provides some of the few genuine moments in this otherwise pretentious mess.
I really enjoyed "Sexo, Pudor y Lagimas", the movie is original and unique. It shows real life situations, the way relationships break apart and then the analysis of each one's life. The movie is also very funny, but dramatic and sad at the same time. It's good to see how Mexican Cinema is slowly evolving to new ideas and new film making. Susana Zabaleta's performance is very good. The music to the movie is also excellent, I recommend SPL to anyone out there looking to have a good time watching an excellent foreign film.
I have to say I was really looking forward on watching this film and finding some new life in it that would separate it from most dull and overly crafted mexican films. I have no idea why but I trusted Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas to be the one to inject freshness and confidence to our non-existent industry. Maybe it was because the soundtrack(which I listened to before I saw the film) sounded different from others, maybe it was because it dared to include newer faces(apart from Demian Bichir who is always a favorite of mexican film directors) and supposedly dealed within it's script with modern social behaviour, maybe because it's photography I saw in the trailers was bright and realistic instead of theatrical. The film turned out to be a major crowd pleaser, and a major letdown. What Serrano actually deals here with is the very old fashioned "battle of the sexes" as in "all men are the same" and "why is it that all women...;" blah,blah,blah. Nothing new in it, not even that, it uses so much common ground and clichè that it eventually mocks itself without leaving any valuable reflexion on the female/male condition. Full of usual tramps on the audience like safe gags about the clichès I talked about before(those always work, always) and screaming performances(it is a well acted film in it's context)..and by screaming I mean, literally. The at first more compelling characters played by Monica Dionne and Demian Bichir turn out to be according to Serrano the more pathetic ones. I completely disagree with Serrano, they shouldn't have been treated that way only to serve as marionettes for his lesson to come through...he made sure we got HIS message and completely destroyed their roles that were the only solid ground in which this story could have stood. Anyway, it is after all, a very entertaining film at times and you will probably have a good time seeing it (if you accept to be manipulated by it).