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Two parts cultural commentary, one part personal ranting. Serve with a side of political debate. May contain sarcasm.

Perdiendo El Norde: Worst Film of the Year?
13 April 2015 @ 15:08

Warning: contains spoilers (but it’s not really worth watching anyway)


I had high expectations for this film; a comedy telling the gritty reality of Spanish immigrants working in low-paid jobs abroad. Well, that’s what the advert had me believe.


 It started well. Two unemployed, slightly pretentious Spaniards with 6 degrees between them, leave the motherland in search of employment in Berlin. The first twenty minutes of this film are laugh-aloud funny. But maybe just for me. They hit the nail on the head with the Spanish stereotype; one of the lead characters assumes that because he has two Batchelor’s degrees and a Master’s that he’s just going to walk into a job. A typical sufferer of ‘titulitis’ – a disease rampant in modern-day Spain in which the patient is obsessed with certificates, extremely qualified on paper, but has no experience or transferable skills of any kind. Mr Titilitis just assumes that because he has lots of degrees he’ll get a high-flying job, despite not speaking the local language and turning up ten minutes late to an interview.


I thought that the writers really were taking a good hard-look at how Spanish people are viewed from outside, an ironic, refreshing ‘take the piss’ out of themselves approach that Spanish cinema desperately needs.


Alas, this was not to be the case. You might as well turn the film off after this scene because I guarantee you’ve seen the rest of the film before elsewhere. It’s like the screenwriters just couldn’t be bothered to think any more, and so decided to rely on all of the tired clichés of early 2000 Hollywood rom-coms.

Yes, this turns into a rom-com. A vomit-inducing, unrealistic pile of rom-com garbage.

Mr Titulitis leaves his very beautiful, very nice girlfriend of five years back in Spain to move to Berlin, where he starts to have feelings towards another Spanish girl who is equally as beautiful, but not as nice, and a little mentally unstable.


So of course, rather than focusing on the harsh realities faced by Spanish immigrants abroad (getting to grips with a new language, dealing with culture shock and realising that their three Spanish degrees are not worth one German one) the story takes the most obvious turn. He starts dating the new, not-as-nice Spanish girl, and then surprise, surprise the long-term girlfriend pops over for a visit. Oh no! Whatever will happen next?


You can guess it. It all ends up with new, not-as-nice Spanish girl being devastated, him moving back to Spain after less than two months in Berlin, and soon enough we find ourselves at his wedding. But of course, on the day of his wedding he suddenly decides that he doesn’t want to marry his long-term, very beautiful, very nice girlfriend of five years (whose dad has also just very kindly given him a job). Instead he wants to move back to Berlin and find the new, not-ao-nice girl who he’s known for less than two months and be with her instead. When it comes to saying ‘I do’, he says ‘I don’t’ and legs it. Now, where have I seen that before?


Back in Berlin, new, not-as-nice girl seems to have miraculously forgotten that he two-timed her and was a complete twat and there’s a lovely kissing scene in front of a beautiful backdrop and they live happily ever after (after having known each other for less than 2 months). Roll credits.


Now, I’m not against rom-coms. I just like them to tell me a story I haven’t already seen. And I like them to be romantic. Leaving a beautiful girl at the altar to go and be with another beautiful girl is NOT romantic. It’s being an indecisive, spoiled manchild. It’s also completely unrealistic and naive. 


So final thoughts on Perdiendo el Norte? Save yourself the 8 euros and rent Notting Hill instead.



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