Boca a Boca (Mouth to Mouth) Movie Review

Movie Review by Anthony Leong © Copyright 1998


As a kid, I was always in the cinema. My father worked in the cinema. Well, not really the cinema. I mean, he worked as an usher. I remember, for example, seeing him sitting in the last row. I remember that I didn't like that. Like all kids, I wanted to think that my father was a big hero up on the screen. The thing is my father really was a hero. A spectator choked on a piece of candy and she couldn't breathe. My father got up and fought for ages to save her. And he did... he saved her life. But none of the other people in the cinema saw it. Except for me. Only I saw it. I always thought, that if my father had the chance, to save her on the screen, in a big movie, millions would know that he existed. It was as if that made me think that cinema was magic. And that's why I want to be an actor. So that, at least, people know that I exist.

An out of work actor, a telephone sex line, a wealthy plastic surgeon 'in the closet', his stunningly beautiful and vengeful wife, an inept hitman, and a Hollywood goddess. Throw them altogether, stir vigorously, and what do you get? "Boca a Boca" (Mouth to Mouth), a spicy little Spanish sex comedy that is sure to both amuse and arouse. Though it was released theatrically in Spain in 1995, it was not until 1997 that it made its rounds to North American multiplexes. Now in 1998, this silly and sexy farce has arrived at your local video store.

 

Victor Ventura (Javier Bardem) is a down-on-his-luck actor who delivers pizzas for a living. However, he is about to give up on his dream of movie stardom after years of stagnation, and is finally sent packing when he is fired from his lowly pizza-delivery position after his moped is stolen. However, Angela (Maria Barranco), his agent convinces him to hang in a little bit longer with news of an upcoming screen test for the romantic lead in a big Hollywood production. Needing a job to pay the bills until his audition, Victor takes a job as a telephone sex operator at Hot Line. At first, he has fun 'talking dirty', treating each call as an 'acting job', and he even wins some admirers. One in particular is an in-the-closet plastic surgeon named Bill (Josep Maria Flotats). Things begin to get complicated when Bill's jealous wife, Amanda (Aitana Sánhez-Gijón), calls Victor up and seduces him over the phone. Hopelessly in love with Amanda, Victor agrees to help her get a divorce by setting Bill up for a set of incriminating photos. Meanwhile, on the acting front, Victor charms the studio talent scouts with his romantic/tough-guy acting schtick, and they want to see more of his talent. But when Amanda's scheme goes horribly wrong, not only does Victor risk losing out on his chance at stardom, but also his life.

This engaging comedy of errors is laced with humor of all shapes and sizes: subtle, seditious, and plain laugh-out-loud funny. As the hapless hero is beset with a situation that becomes increasingly convoluted, the serpentine plot goes off in unexpected directions with each new twist. Though the story may be contrived, relying on a series of inconceivable coincidences to tie up the loose ends, the runaway comic energy of this well-done production and the potent charisma of Bardem keep you spellbound right until the delightful feel-good ending. Be sure to catch this intoxicating mix of sex, sin, and subversive humor.


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