Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bulgarian Lovers - Unrated Edition|
Actors: Fernando GuillÚn Cuervo, Dritan Biba, Pepˇn Nieto, Roger Pera, Anita Sinkovic
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Gay & Lesbian
After a 16 year absence, Spanish filmmaker Eloy de la Iglesia returns with an entertaining drama/thriller about the tangled love affair between Daniel, a 40 year-old wealthy Madrid lawyer, and Kyril, a younger ˘straight÷ B... more »
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Doctor Richard | Newton,, MA, United States | 10/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found this film totally satisfying and enjoyable. As a comedy, some will find its tragic themes not truly -- meaning painfully - dealt with.
A gay, middle aged "respectable" and politically well connected Spanish "consultant" falls in love with a virile Bulgarian immigrant, and soon falls in with his lover's shady company. The older man seems to wish to escape his trivial emotional life and "queenie" friends; crime feels "real" to him. He wants his love of Kyril to overpower all other reality, even if Kyril cannot love him. He becomes "completely" Bulgarian, and goes to Kyril's wedding in Bulgaria, where he rejects seduction by Kyril's handsome younger male cousin.
The actors and the acting are attractive. The story is fast-paced and complicated, and tautly directed. There is much to look at, and to think about.
I have not been able to convey the film's wonderful comic spirit, as I have focused on its "deeper" themes. Regardless, this is a sweet comedy about true love."
"I'd give my life for you!"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Smart, witty and endlessly sly, Eloy de la Iglesia's Bulgarian Lovers is lots of extraordinary and unexpected fun. With its themes of love, money, and what we do for lust, the film takes the viewer on an almost surreal journey through the life of the loveable Daniel (Fernando Guillén Cuervo), a wealthy, spoilt, middle-aged, but attractive businessman who falls for Kyril (Dritan Biba), a hunky, muscular, sexy Bulgarian. Daniel is a well-adjusted gay guy who frequents the Madrid party scene surrounding himself with a bunch of fluttery gay men who constantly camp it up, swoon over the Bulgarian hunks, and chatter incessantly about their latest boyfriends.
Kyril is looking for a wealthy sugar daddy to look after him, someone who can shower him with money and presents while also "fixing his papers" so that he can stay in the country. He sets his sights on Daniel and after having a night of all-consuming passion, where they share lots of hot, sweaty, and brutal sex, Daniel becomes hooked regardless of the fact that Kyril confesses that he has a fiancé. None of Kyril's apparent shortcomings seem to bother Daniel, who - while intermittently addressing the camera with a cunning, self-knowing little smirk - readily invites the Bulgarian into his life.
Kyril is obviously hiding something. And Daniel progressively begins to get suspicious when Kyril keeps asking for more money. Soon Daniel is forced to have surreptitious dealings with Eastern European mobsters and is asked to store a suspicious-looking black bag in his apartment (he's far too afraid to examine its contents in case he ruins his romantic sojourn). Daniel's emotionally masochistic tendencies become even more outlandish when he allows Kyril's beautiful fiancée, Kalina (Anita Sinkovic), to stay, and even accompanies them to Sofia for their wedding while also paying for their trip.
Daniel's obsession with Kyril lands him in all sorts of bother. Throughout the film he ruminates on the price that one must pay for love (and lust); he's part hard-core masochist and impossible romantic, who is absolutely besotted with a man who, simply put, is a selfish opportunist who is merely out to make a quick buck by hook or crook, which includes robbery and smuggling. But the twist is that Daniel is far from the exploited, subjugated waif; he willingly chases after other boys, recklessly aids and abets his live-in stud, and even admits - to his friends and the viewers - that he does it because he can afford it, and faced with man like Kyril, who wouldn't want to do it?
The performances are excellent and totally believable. The romantic and sexual encounters between Daniel and Kyril - which include full frontal nudity - are far more realistic and credible than anything seen in American film, gay or straight. The movie cleverly and without being overly preachy, examines the often-distraught interplay of sex, power and money with a breezy, almost comical attitude. There's also a fine sense of social detail, which cleverly examines the sometimes-uneasy communal relationship that has arisen between the older generation of Spanish and the newer European immigrants. But the film is mostly worth watching for Dritan Biba whom, as Kyril, absolutely smolders on screen - his sexual charisma and magnetism is undeniable and most viewers will probably completely understand why Daniel becomes incessantly besotted with him. Mike Leonard March 05.
A Gay Spanish Film that is All Parade and No Circus
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"BULGARIAN LOVERS, as a title, is a misnomer. Based on the successful novel by Eduardo Mendicutti and developed into a screenplay by director Eloy de la Iglesia and star actor Fernando Guillen Cuervo, this story is a combination of successful tales from many movies that in this particular film simply doesn't work.
Daniel (Fernando Guillen Cuervo) is a successful, closeted gay architect in Madrid whose only concession to his sexuality is his membership in a group of outrageous queens who stage underground parties, looking for love in all the wrong places. An influx of Eastern European men into Madrid looking for jobs and money to send home includes a group of hunky Bulgarians who offer meaningless sex to the queens in return for money. Daniel attaches himself to one of these handsome but shady characters Kyril (Dritan Biba) and soon is supplying Kyril with a roof over his/their head, money, gifts, and involvement in Kyril's criminal activities all in return for passionate sex.
The story of course is all about what we will do for 'love', and we can see from the beginning that Daniel will cross all barriers - even accompanying Kyril to Bulgaria for his marriage to his girlfriend Kalina (Anita Sinkovic) and the subsequent involvement with Kyril's mob activities. How Daniel extricates himself from Kyril's sexual hold and finds his way back to Madrid forms the caper-like plot that completes the movie.
Though there are some interesting moments - and a lot of flaunting frontal male nudity from a cast worth observing - the film unfortunately falls into too many clichés: Daniel's friends are all over-the-top queens, there is the obligatory Kyril/Kalina straight love scene act, Daniel's motivation for his endlessly malinformed behavior goes beyond the quest for 'finding love', the ending is a starting all over again with Kyril's cousin coming on to Daniel...
Cuervo (memorable for his roles in 'Talk to Her' and 'The Greek Labyrinth', etc) does his best with a weak script, but then he DID co-write it. Not a bad film, but one that certainly could have been better with some judicious editing and less lingering over the obvious.
Amusing enough but severely flawed
Kardius | USA | 03/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Based on a popular, but not very good, Spanish novel, this film tells the story of a Spanish middle-aged man's relationship with a hunky Bulgarian who's after his money and has a blonde girlfriend/wife. Unfortunately, the film is not as smart or witty as its makers seem to think it is. The filmmakers didn't seem to have a clear idea of what they wanted to do: a dark comedy, a sex romp, a witty commentary on Spanish gay male culture, a humorous gay melodrama a la Almodovar. Instead, you get a little bit of everything and most of it is not done particularly well.
Still, the two leads are attractive in their own ways, the plot, while preposterous and unnecessarily convoluted, is amusing, and there's more male frontal nudity than Americans are used to (although the film is far from being as graphic as the cover suggests and the few sex scenes are quite tame). And the stereotypes of the queeny middle-aged men and the hunky foreigners, while somewhat crude and even potentially offensive, are actually quite refreshing when compared to the boringly PC American gay movies."