The opening scene of the film had me worried. Did I make myself watch a foreign romantic comedy? Even though the first scene was a little worrisome, the rest of the film made me realize that growing up is hard to do. Here’s my review of the Brazilian film, “Amores Urbanos.”
Review by Kimberley Carmona
Vera Egito’s “Amores Urbanos” opened on May 5 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater during Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. The premise of the film had me intrigued and the film did not disappoint.
Julia, Micaela and Diego are in their 30s and living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They have a sibling-like relationship that makes them and the audience comfortable. The problem? Each one is going through personal issues that cause small rifts and arguments. The only thing Julia has going for her is the fact that she has a large amount of Instagram followers that want to know more about her recipes.
Julia, played by Maria Laura Nogueira, is navigating life after she discovers that her boyfriend was engaged to another woman, making Julia the other woman. As if she couldn’t be more devastated, she finds out that she is pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby. Not to mention that her parents are insisting for her to find a career that will lead to a successful life with a marriage and children since Julia is currently an assistant to a fashion designer.
Diego, played by Thiago Pethit, parties hard. He sleeps during the day and drinks excessively at night. He neglects his boyfriend and cheats on him often. The boyfriend asks for Diego to move in, but Diego insists that the boyfriend only wants to know when and how he comes in. That’s when Diego finds out that the boyfriend knows about his hookups and how he Diego said he would change. Later in the film, the audience finds out that Diego’s father is dying and that he has a strained relationship with the father after he kicked Diego out for being gay.
Micaela, played by Renata Gaspar, is dating an actress who refuses to present her as a girlfriend. Most of Micaela’s storyline involves trying to convince her girlfriend to present her as more than a friend.
Three characters with issues that could have been ended up being very cliche. Instead, the film takes a different approach to their issues, which is something I respected. Instead of Julia reuniting with her baby daddy, she ends up growing up and accepting her flaws. Her life is not perfect and that’s okay. Diego realizes what he really wants in life and that is his boyfriend. He also got to see his father for the last time and get the closure he needed even though it was at his father’s funeral. Micaela ended up single, but realized that her relationship was not going anywhere. She had to be faithful to herself and her needs.
These lessons are hard to grasp in the real world, but seeing them in film made me realize that no matter what age, we all have growing up to do. Life is not easy and things will end up badly, but we must have someone to confide to. The film does an amazing job showing the audience the character development without making it obvious.
The casting for the film was amazing. It felt like the actors were actually the characters. The chemistry between Julia, Micaela and Diego was fantastic and their performances were quite extraordinary. That type of chemistry reminded me of my own friend group and made their experiences real to me.
“Amores Urbanos” is a must-watch film. Think of it as an adult version of “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” but with alcohol, sex and adult drama. We all have to grow up, but “Amores Urbanos” helps make it easier.
I spend too much money at concerts, festivals and comedy shows. Some call me a celebrity stalker, but I consider myself a pop culture addict. I also like red carpets, television, celebrity autobiographies and Netflix. I like to pretend that Kendall Schmidt and I are best friends, and Chelsea Handler once told me that she and I were meant to be best friends. You will most likely find me at Trudy’s or on my couch trying to find a channel. Here’s my website.