Let me start off by saying when you walk into a movie theater ten minutes after the film has begun and you are the only one there, your hopes become slightly dimmed about how exactly the film is going to be.
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” begins with an introduction of the two main characters by a narrator, explaining why they are in Barcelona. The narrator outlines their similarities and differences, especially on the issue of love.
The story begins with the girls arriving in Spain to spend time with Cristina’s extended family. While Vicky (Rebecca Hall, “The Prestige”) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson, “Lost In Translation”) are at an art show with their hosts, they meet bohemian artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem, “No Country for Old Men”) who, other than rumored to have beaten his ex-wife Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz, “Vanilla Sky”), is incredibly handsome.
The artist is so bold that he later offers to take the two girls on a weekend vacation to a little village outside Barcelona. Vicky is reluctant to go, but Cristina is fun, adventurous and willing to try anything once, and so the story really begins.
While on vacation, both of the girls’ lives go from perfect to completely upside down. Once the weekend is over and they return to Barcelona, Vicky marries her fiance, but after the weekend with Juan Antonio she soon begins to become bored with how her dream life is turning out.
As for Cristina, who falls in love and starts living with Juan Antonio and the crazy Maria Elena, she becomes more confident with who she is and her passions in life.
The film has a basic theme of love and lust between a group of people who do not know what they want out of life. Just when Vicky marries her dream man, she feels as if she is missing out on what Cristina has experienced.
However, Cristina realizes, just like before, she has no idea what she wants out of life, just that her short time living with Juan Antonio and Maria Elena is no longer it.
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is ultimately one of the best films Woody Allen has ever done. Out of all his movies, two of the best have been with Scarlett Johansson (also in “Scoop” and “Match Point”).
Another interesting thing about Woody Allen films, and this one in particular, are their titles. The lack of punctuation can initially lead one to think Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a person’s name, and it intrigued me.
After seeing the preview and the movie itself, it’s easy to more fully understand the title.
The title is very straight forward – this is a movie about Vicky, Cristina and Barcelona. That’s it.
When viewing the film, it’s evident that even though Allen had never filmed in Spain before, the way he has captured the color and beauty of the country is outstanding. Having been to Spain, I recognized places I had seen. Seeing just how wonderfully all of the sites were captured made me want to go again.
The movie is also filmed with almost an orange tint, making it at first seem a little darker, but at the same time showing there can be a bit of light in all sorts of confusion.
All in all, I believe the film was good, but definitely a rental to watch with some girlfriends on a boring Saturday night.