Owen Gleiberman
April 13, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Torremolinos 73

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
91 minutes
Limited Release Date
04/15/05
performer
Javier Camara, Candela Pena, Juan Diego
director
Pablo Berger
distributor
First Run Features
author
Pablo Berger
genre
Foreign Language, Comedy

We gave it a C

Torremolinos 73 has the dubious distinction of being just about the mildest porno comedy ever made. It’s like something the teenage Pedro Almodóvar might have written to shock his 10th-grade creative writing teacher. In Franco’s Spain during the early ’70s, Alfredo (Javier Cámara), a failed encyclopedia salesman, is about to get downsized when he learns his company is undergoing a transition. It will now produce a series of ”educational” super-8 sex films. Alfredo and his wife, the lovely, subdued Carmen (Candela Pe`a), are given a camera and offered the chance to perform in their own homemade skin flicks at 50,000 pesetas a pop.

Amusing as it is to learn that this fuddy-duddy couple enjoys a robust sex life, in a strange way it neuters the movie. Shooting self-made erotica doesn’t change them; it’s just a job they take on so that they can afford to have a baby. What does change is that Alfredo decides he wants to be Ingmar Bergman — literally. He writes a script based on The Seventh Seal, which gets produced after Carmen becomes a popular porn star in Scandinavia. Torremolinos 73 is at once far-fetched and saccharine — not a great combination. They should have called it Cinema Pornadiso.

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