3 bodas de más
A Mediterranean version of Bridget Jones
To be dumped by your partner is bad enough, but to have it happen during a wedding lunch is even worse. For Ruth though, this is the first of a number of occurrences: as a single woman, she will be invited to two more weddings in the space of a month, with every single groom being one of her exes. After two success stories in Spain (Spanish Movie and Promoción fantasma), Javier Ruiz Caldera has put his name to an entertaining romantic comedy, 3 bodas de más, chosen to close this year's 10th Venice Days in Venice.
Ruth (effortlessly played by Inma Cuesta) is a marine biologist with a tormented love life. She decides to go to her exes' weddings in order to prove that she is no bitter wench, but the only person she can get to go as her date is her intern (Martín Rivas). Each wedding will offer tragicomic situations: the first wedding is of her surfer ex, a great eater of hallucinogenic tarts, the second is of her ex boyfriend who has since become a beautiful woman, and the third is of the man who dumped her at the beginning of the film, who is afraid of commitment but seems to have met the woman of his dreams in the space of just a few weeks. During one of these, Ruth meets a man she likes: an awkward plastic surgeon (Quim Gutiérrez). This time it seems right, even if dramatic turns of events will make us question the whole thing.
This is a first go at comedy for Inma Cuesta (seen, among other places, in Blancanieves by Pablo Berger). She pulls off a great Mediterranean version of Bridget Jones: she is comical, ends up in bed with the most unsuspecting of characters after three glasses of wine (and cannot remember anything), sings 1980s song completely off-key. Her exchanges with her on screen mother are brilliant. Mother, played by Almodóvar darling Rossy de Palma is addicted to the gym and a man-eater. In the best tradition of romantic comedies, the ending can be guessed, but that doesn't make the script void of surprises, some of which are politically incorrect, as well as details that could have been looked over had they not been so well inserted into the scale of events (like the dysentery scene).
The film's screenwriters (Breixo Corral and Pablo Alén) come from television and have written various episodes of successful series El Internado, which included Martín Rivas in its stars. There is not one badly placed dialogue, the rhythm is quick and at the end of the film, you are overwhelmed with a need to see Inma Cuesta take on another comedic role. [Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa.org]