The Other Side Of The Bed

on August 29, 2003 by Jordan Reed
Does the thought of coveting/bagging your best friend's girl or boy make any of you chuckle or compel you to burst into song? Sure it does, so all six of you deviants will love "The Other Side of the Bed." Emilio Martinez-Lazaro's commedia dell'adulterio enters the shagging chambers of two pseudo-couples--Javier (Ernesto Alterio) and Sonia (Paz Vega), and Pedro (Guillermo Toledo) and Paula (Natalia Verbeke). Paula has just walked out on Pedro to pursue her illicit affair with Javier, whose disinterest in Sonia eventually sends her into the arms of the lovelorn Pedro. All members of the bizarre love quadrangle manage to deceive each other for a while, but eventually Javier and Pedro confront each other on their mutual betrayals.

Oddly enough, the game of musical beds is in fact set to music. Cheesy songs and dance numbers abound, the former not too hard on the ears, but the latter--replete with excruciating Lambada-esque moves--as likely to induce suicide as an Academy Awards show number. And while infidelity is as fair game as any other subject for a musical--see Lars von Trier's exquisite tragedy "Dancer in the Dark" for a true boundary-pushing example of the genre--"The Other Side of the Bed" doesn't offer up a stitch of insight into the issue. No one is called to task for their transgressions, and ultimately no one shows any remorse for their lecherous behavior. Throw in a few stereotypical supporting players, including a talky single woman, a thin-skinned macho man and an ultra-aggressive lesbian, and the flaccidity is complete. Lightheartedness is one thing, but trivializing cheating while failing to do so with humor or creativity makes for an unsuccessful if not unseemly film. And at nearly two hours in length, "The Other Side of the Bed" allows plenty of opportunity to close one's eyes in protest. Starring Ernesto Alterio, Paz Vega, Guillermo Toledo and Natalia Verbeke. Directed by Emilio Martinez-Lazaro. Written by David Serrano. Produced by Tomas Cimadevella and José Sainz De Vicuna. A Sundance Film Series release. Drama/Musical. Spanish-language; subtitled. Unrated. Running time: 114 min.

Tags: Ernesto Alterio, Paz Vega, Guillermo Toledo, Natalia Verbeke, Emilio Martinez-Lazaro, David Serrano, Tomas Cimadevella, Jos Sainz De Vicuna, Sundance Film Series, Drama, Musical, Spanish-language, Subtitled

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