Thursday, January 15, 2009

Elsa & Fred (SPANISH) DVD

(Elsa y Fred)
DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Revolves around Seniors Seizing Last Chance at Love

82 year-old Elsa (China Zorrilla) is an incurable romantic with a Bucket List of things she still wants to do before she dies. First and foremost, she’d like to fall in love and frolic in Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain just like Anita Ekberg did in La Dolce Vita. As fate would have it, recently-widowed Alfredo (Manuel Alexandre) moves in next-door neighbor to naughty Elsa, who pounces on the grieiving geezer the first chance she gets, like a starving pit bull that just found some raw meat.
But Fred isn’t necessarily inclined to move so quickly, since he’s a nerdy hypochondriac who takes a pile of pills for an assortment of real and imagined medical disorders. He’s scared by Elsa’s bossiness, which includes an insistence that he stop taking all his medications for a week.
However, resistance proves to be futile once she’s sunk her claws into Fred, and it’s not long before she has him under her spell. Soon, we find the rebellious pair running out on the bill at a fancy restaurant, an illogical suggestion that the taking of such liberties by the elderly is proof of vitality.
Anyhow, this shamelessly sentimental tale makes its inexorable march to Rome for a recreation of the above-referenced fountain scene from Fellini’s 1960 screen classic, props like a cat and a cup of milk included. Trouble is we’re supposed to buy the idea that this is all Elsa needs to be able to rest in peace. Talk about life imitating art! Or is this art imitating art?
Regardless, the transparent attempt to tug on the heartstrings doesn’t work. So it’s hard in good conscience to recommend a sappy flick with a heroine this shallow, her admirable spunkiness in the face of a dire prognosis notwithstanding.

Fair (1.5 stars)
Rated PG for mild epithets and mature themes.
In Spanish, Italian and English with subtitles.
Running time: 106 minutes
Studio: Navarre Corporation
DVD Extras: Cast and crew biographies, director’s commentary, “The Making of” featurette and a theatrical trailer.

To see a trailer of Elsa & Fred, visit:

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