Sólo con tu pareja Movie Review
Daniel Giménez Cacho is Tómas Tómas, a kind of scrawny, lazy, and loathsome advertising copywriter who nonetheless has hundreds of sexual exploits leaving notches in his belt. He's a rare kind of cad that juggles two women during one night in apartments across the hall from each other (naturally he's locked out of both) while also carefully avoiding actually doing his job (one of his conquests comes up with his latest slogan, for jalepeno peppers, for him).
One day Tómas's promiscuity finally catches up with him when, after a routine medical exam, he receives a notice that he is infected with AIDS. This should come as no surprise, really -- Tómas is vehement about unprotected sex and lots of it -- but the news hits him hard. So hard that he vows to commit suicide that very night.
Getting past the sheer unlikeability of Tómas proves to be the film's most difficult point. No matter how cute he may be during his morning naked, exhibitionist run downstairs to get the newspaper, it's hard to disguise the fact that he's a real asshole with no self-control and a massive laziness streak. When he suddenly falls in love with the woman across the hall (Claudia Ramírez), we don't know whether to feel happy for him or scream at the screen for her to run away.
Fortunately Cuarón has some great sight gags to distract us from his awful anti-hero, the best being the moments when the smooth Tómas gets a little comeuppance by being locked out during one of those naked jaunts outside or accidentally swapping a bag with his stool samples with that containing his new love's breakfast. His attempt at suicide via microwave oven is the highlight of the film. Sophisticated stuff? Hardly, but it adds some actual levity to the otherwise iffiness of the sex comedy.
The flavor of Almodóvar is present throughout the film, but the actual filling is missing. On the other hand, for a first feature, Pareja is far better than most, even if it doesn't stand the test of time.
The new Criterion edition DVD includes two short films, one from Alfonso Cuarón and one from co-writer (and brother) Carlos Cuarón.
Aka Love in the Time of Hysteria.
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