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

Torremolinos 73

Current Status
In Season
91 minutes
Limited Release Date
Javier Camara, Candela Pena, Juan Diego
Pablo Berger
First Run Features
Pablo Berger
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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