Like a cheap package holiday from the decade of disco, Torremelinos 73 visits a kitsch, exotic world where unshapely people whip their clothes off. Pablo Berger's sweet comedy drama is the story of ordinary Spanish husband and wife Alfredo and Carmen (Javier Cámara and Candela Peña), who enter the adult film industry so they can afford to pay their bills and start a family. Porn is their lifeline from the breadline, but will taking their money shot come good?
When hapless encyclopaedia salesman Alfredo learns that his boss wants him off the books once and for all, he and his devoted but modest wife are faced with a straightforward but difficult decision: become stars of Scandinavian Super-8 sauce or face eviction. Promised good money and total anonymity, the couple take the plunge. And, for a while at least, their future in blue movies looks rosy. Carmen sheds her inhibitions and explores her sexuality, while Alfredo finds his true calling in filmmaking (his earnest attempts to ape his idol Ingmar Bergman prove increasingly hilarious).
"AFFECTINGLY SWEET AND HUMAN"
As with Boogie Nights - which is undoubtedly an influence - Torremelinos 73 depicts a porno world where actors are naive innocents corrupted by those whose business it is to make the films. Carmen and Alfredo are duped by a producer's promises of mainstream movie careers and the couple's relationship is strained by their inability to conceive. Writer/director Berger's skilfully told story shifts in tone but always remains affectingly sweet and human. It's Deep Throat with a big, big heart.
In Spanish with English subtitles.