It’s time for this year’s ¡Viva! at Cornerhouse, and what an excellent start I had last night, seeing Primos by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo. It is easily the best film I have seen in Cornerhouse’s Spanish language film festival over the last few years, and as I came out of the cinema I was busy planning how to get hold of a copy for friends and family to enjoy too.
Having seen Daniel’s Gordos last year, I thought I knew what to expect; a fun film. But this was so much more, funny, romantic, and with that little bit extra that made it more memorable than other funny and romantic films.
The plot is simple enough, with Diego having been left in the lurch by Yolanda, and his two cousins (primos) Julián and José Miguel stepping in to prevent him from going crazy. Except they are possibly crazier than Diego ever will be, so their impromptu trip ‘home’ doesn’t turn out as they think.
Although, perhaps they aren’t crazy either. They have been formed by the people around them, and coming back home they meet up with their pasts. There is the drunk, former owner of the video rental shop and his beautiful daughter. There is Diego’s first love Martina, and her young son, who proves wiser in many ways than the three primos. And it’s hardly surprising that Spanish men are so very preoccupied with cojones and the size of them, if they are introduced to this ‘important’ subject so early on.
New and old romances flourish in beautiful settings, and the primos revisit their youthful impersonation of the Backstreet Boys, as well as the local seaside theme park. As I’ve noticed with other non-English language films, there is none of the prudish hang-ups about going topless on the beach, or of being seen perching on the toilet.
And breakfasting isn’t always easy, or ‘desayunar no siempre es fácil,’ as Diego finds.
It’s fluffy and silly, but so very wonderful.