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Arts & Culture

Cinema en tu Idioma: Maldeamores

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Maldeamores opens with a couple in a car arguing. The man wants a piece of gum that he assumes his wife has in her purse. The wife insists she doesn't have any and inquires if her husband has searched her purse. The two engage in an escalating argument until the woman throws herself out of the car in frustration. This is one example of the "lovesickness" of the title. People who drive each other crazy but all in the name of love. The scenes is hilarious but the laughs sting a bit.

After this prologue, we are introduced to three sets of characters in various stages of love. There's a woman who discovers that her husband is cheating on her; a man who takes a busload of passengers hostage in an attempt to make the female bus driver marry him; and an elderly woman who finds herself in an unlikely romantic triangle.

An unlikely romantic triangle in Maldeamores (Maya Releasing)

Co-directors Carlos Ru & iacute;z Ru & iacute;z and Mariem P erez Riera spin these three stories but do not feel compelled to make them overlap as say the characters in Amores Perros did. Each story has its own twisted trajectory as each explores love in different stages of a relationship, at different ages, and in different parts of Puerto Rico. What's refreshing about the film is the grit the filmmakers bring to their love stories. There's passion too but also a sense of the masochistic bent that love can take.

Ethan Van Thillo, founder and executive director of Media Arts Center San Diego and San Diego Latino Film Festival, states, "We're honored to bring Benicio del Toro's film back to San Diego for this exclusive engagement. Luis Guzman gives a wonderful performance [as the philandering husband]!"

Maldeamores (rated R for language, some sexual content and a violent situation and in Spanish with English subtitles) provides a nice antidote to such ridiculous and empty-headed comedies as The Women. Maldeamores finds spice and grit in its offbeat romances.

Companion viewing: Amores Perros, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Things We Lost in the Fire

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