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Thursday, December 25, 2014

AMERICANO (2011)

Actor Mathieu Demy gets an intriguing trailer out of his first stab at feature film directing. Let’s see: French real estate broker goes to SoCal after the death of his estranged mother to wrap up her affairs. Turns out Mom left him a garage-full of worthless mementos, but willed her apartment to some ‘Lola,’ a ‘working girl’ at a dive bar in Tijuana no one knows much about. A decent enough set up for a mystery tale. But Demy, who plants his camera on himself whenever possible, uses a mourner’s grief & depression to explain acting out like an impulsive asshole when he’s really just trying to keep his plot in motion. (Yep, it’s his original story, too.) And while we might go along with this as a moody mood piece, his behavior turns hopelessly idiotic. Anyway, who can give a shit about someone who parks a classic red Mustang convertible in a bad Tijuana neighborhood with the top down, his cash, passport, clothes & legal documents in the trunk, then be surprised to find it stolen the next morning? And not even a rental, but a car he stole/borrowed from his mom’s best friend (Geraldine Chaplin). Idiotic impulsive asshole behavior, si? As the putative Lola (who Demy instinctively trusts since he’s a sentimental idiotic impulsive asshole), Selma Hayek shows off a pair of seriously glam legs. It’s the film that doesn’t stand a chance.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: For a tasty mystery chase thru Mexico, try Don Siegel’s THE BIG STEAL/’49, a sort of noir lite with great perfs, especially from leads Robert Mitchum & Jane Greer.

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