This first feature by Mexican documentary filmmaker Dana Rotberg gives a fresh feel to a well-used story line. Julio, a fifty-year-old frustrated teacher/writer, leads a tedious and boring life; he's trapped in a thirty-year marriage which has just plain disintegrated, is unable to finish his novel, and is also unhappy at work. But one day a hole opens up in the wall clue to a plumbing repair. and through it he sees his beautiful neighbor, Tere. Their eventual meeting and lustful affair open up his life. While at first this new love revitalizes his existence, gradually the intrusion of reality, in the shape of financial and marital obligations, ends the fantasy. But Julio has been changed forever.
The script by Leonard Garcia Tsao, based loosely on the theatrical play by Hugo Hiriart, is well constructed and lets the comedy emerge through situations and strong characterizations; at the same time, it does not ignore the underlying thematic messages. Director Rotherg's direction is fluid and smooth and maintains a steady hand on the narrative's twists and turns. Both performances, by Emilio Echeverria and Lisa Owen, are engaging and realistic.
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