›› Sex, Party and Lies - Mentiras Y Gordas
a film by Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes.
2009 | 107 mins | Spain.
principal players: Mario Casas / Tony, Ana de Armas / Carola, Yon González / Nico, Hugo Silva / Carlos, Ana Polvorosa / Marina, Alejo Sauras / Bubu, Marieta Orozco / Sonia, Miriam Giovanelli / Paz and Duna Jové as Leo.
Adapted Synopsis: "Waking up one morning with the reality of life staring grimly at them in the face, a group of friends are set to discover that their frenzied nights out clubbing, drinking and taking drugs cannot continue forever, as someone or something has to give."
Okay, let's cut to the chase, for there's a lot of straight sex going on here, as the film navigates the tangled romantic lives of its key players, including Carola, namely a girl who's cheating on her best friend with her sex 'n' drug addicted junkie of a boyfriend. Such hetero scenes are however sexually counterbalanced by the story of Tony; that of a young man who finds himself head over heels in love with his best friend Nico, a situation that their mutual friend Marina is all too aware of, only to find herself becoming increasingly aware of her own sexual attraction to another girl, all of which culminates in a beautifully enacted, scored, if somewhat melodramatic closing scene. Or rather the penultimate scene, given the fade-to-black is followed by a surreal sequence that in its own way answers the question as to who is forever etched in Nico's heart and mind.
Yet and in spite of the promising gay setup, this is a film that finds itself emotionally watered down by one too many characters vying with each other for the cinematic stage. Then again, each character has their own tale to tell, along with a lot of sex and drug taking, as the downward spiral of self-destruction rears its cinematic head once again and here cue a drug dealer coming face to face with the repercussions of the trade.
Between now and then, Mario Casas of Easy Money fame is forever casting yearning looks in Nico's direction, if not over his frequently naked body, including frontal, only for the man himself to be all but blind to the signs of love, that of a case of unrequited love that could drive you to the edge - and perhaps beyond? Add in a sexy threesome between the two boys and a local girl, one that has Tony planting his lips firmly on those of his best friend, together with a backroom scene of the pants down variety and the gay element of this feature is and to its credit, to the fore.
Only and despite being well shot and in the main played for all its worth by a cast of good-looking actors, the clue to what's on offer here lies in the title and sure enough, this is a film that lives up to its name, given there's a lot of sex, partying and lies to be found - if sadly, little else. For that is where it fails. Had the Tony and Nico relationship been played as a focused narrative, it undoubtedly would have worked better. But as one part of the whole, it finds itself instead fighting for the spotlight, being a case of too little of the boys - for the boys. But then, this is an ensemble piece. Say no more.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the full monty.
Overall - file under ... 2+ stars.