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Vicky Cristina Barcelona
1.5 Waffles!

Sitting there in the theater, listening to the rumbling of The Dark Knight beckoning me to leave this theater and sneak in next door for my third viewing of the best film of the summer, I was left wondering, “Why does anyone want to see a Woody Allen movie anymore?”

Scarlett Johansson stars as Cristina and Rebecca Hall stars as Vicky – two friends off to Barcelona for the summer. One night, a sexy, overly forward and scandalous painter, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), approaches them and asks the two beauties to take off for the weekend with him. Of course, they go (would they go if Bardem looked like Meat Loaf?).

Will the ladies fall prey to Juan Antonio's charms?

Can he sing Two Out Out Of Three Ain't Bad?

Get rid of the Vicky and this movie would be passable. Writer/director Woody Allen has a great deal of trouble finding the narrative in Vicky Cristina Barcelona as we follow the much less interesting Vicky and her humdrum problems until Allen tosses her overboard for the more compelling Penelope Cruz, who appears as Maria Elena. It's not Hall's fault that Vicky is boring, but Cruz saves the movie from the garbage heap by injecting some electricity, sexiness and bold acting.

Allen is one of the best comedy writers of all time, but Vicky Cristina Barcelona is not crazy enough to be consistently funny, and not dramatic enough to be compelling. It’s stuck in that weird middle zone I often complain about, and it hurts the movie. Plus, for a film that has a great deal of buzz for being provocative because of the relationships that develop between various characters (and a quick locking of lips between Johansson and another female), it’s just not as sexy as you have been led to believe.

Anything not related to Maria Elena, Juan Antonio and Cristina is just boring and unnecessary, and we get too much of this other sleep inducing stuff to make Vicky Cristina Barcelona worth seeking out.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexuality, and smoking.


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