Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|I Love You Baby|
Actors: Jorge Sanz, Santiago Magill, Tiaré Scanda, Verónica Forqué, Nacho San Pedro
Directors: David Menkes, Alfonso Albacete
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
In this delightful, irreverent romantic comedy, where boy meets boy who then meets girl and all become more confused than ever, sexually ambiguous Marcos arrives in Madrid looking for love. He soon meets a struggling act... more »
Uneven comedy-drama sends mixed message to gay viewers
Libretio | 04/26/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
I LOVE YOU BABY
(Spain - 2001)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Digital
Struck by a falling disco ball while singing karaoke in a Madrid nightclub, a gay country boy (Jorge Sanz) wakes to find himself inexplicably 'straight', alienating his devastated boyfriend (Santiago Magill) who surrenders him to a relationship with a beautiful single mother (Tiare Scanda). But Magill is unwilling to relinquish Sanz so easily, and makes one last desperate effort to reclaim him...
Taking its cue from a real-life incident in 1999 when Culture Club frontman Boy George was almost struck and killed by a falling disco ball, this uneven Spanish 'dramedy' features a miscast Sanz (popular in Latin countries since his appearance in AMANTES and BELLE EPOQUE ten years earlier, but past his prime here) and Peruvian TV star Magill (one of the most astonishingly beautiful men this reviewer has ever seen!) as the lovers torn apart by an extraordinary twist of fate. And 'extraordinary' is the word, since Sanz plays a dull, ungainly character who warrants none of the attention he receives from both Magill and Scanda (a rising star in her native Mexico), and who seems to be conflicted about his sexuality even before the incident with the disco ball, rendering the film's central conceit almost entirely pointless. When Magill drags up as a winsome, blonde-haired woman in an effort to regain Sanz's affections, the narrative invites comparisons with some of Pedro Almodovar's more outrageous offerings, but the film - co-written and directed by Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes - is a lightweight mix of inoffensive drama and half-hearted comic relief, and there's a couple of outlandish plot developments which stretch the limits of believability.
In fact, whether intentionally or not, the film reinforces unpleasant attitudes about the 'second-class' status of gay men by depicting Magill as a desperate character unable to compete with his heterosexual counterparts without humiliating himself in the process. This dubious premise might have been informed by the macho tradition inherent in Spanish culture, but coming from directors with a track record of gay films (including I WILL SURVIVE and NOT LOVE, JUST FRENZY), the notion that heterosexual love is inherently 'superior' to any other and that gays should 'know their place' rings more than a little hollow. The surprise ending is also a little awkward, due to a REALLY bad performance by the person in the very last shot of the film...
That said, however, there's still much to enjoy in I LOVE YOU BABY, not least the handsome production values and sincere performances, especially from veteran Spanish actress Veronica Forque as an eternal wallflower whose gay friends are the only source of comfort in her life. But the film belongs to Magill (also the star of an earlier - more explicit - gay film, DON'T TELL ANYONE), who carries the script's emotional burden with effortless grace; his brief love scenes with Sanz are entirely natural, and completely unaffected. However, it must be said: Though attractive as a woman, he looks MUCH better as a man!
NB. This film is not to be confused with an unrelated German production, I LOVE YOU BABY, directed by Nick Lyon in 2000.
A so-so film about a man questioning his sexuality in Madrid
gac1003 | 03/22/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Handsome Marcos moves to Madrid with the hope of earning enough money to open a restaurant and settles in with his aunt and uncle. While out on the town, he meets Daniel in a bar. Under the watchful eyes of a Boy George poster, they strike up a friendship which quickly turns into romance.One night while they are on stage at a karaoke bar, the disco ball falls from the ceiling, striking Marcos on the head and changing him from gay to straight. Within a few months, he's fallen for Marisol, a young Dominican woman trying to earn enough money to bring her daughter to live with her in Spain. But Daniel isn't ready to give up on his love and will use any means to win him back.The big problem with this movie is the story itself. What starts out as a promising romantic film turns odd and illogical. I just couldn't believe that getting hit on the head with a disco ball would change one's sexual orientation. And, the film didn't even expand upon the change. Simply, 'poof, I'm straight!' At another point, Daniel says something so out of character -- which has a major impact on the story's outcome -- that I started open-mouthed at the screen, wondering what just happened.The only saving grace of the film is the acting, especially bySantiago Magill as Daniel and Tiaré Scanda as Marisol who play their roles as the love interests with ease and believability. Jorge Sanz is quite wooden and wishy-washy as Marcos, and by the end of the film, I didn't feel that he was worthy of either Daniel or Marisol. But Verónica Forqué steals the film as Daniel's single friend Carmen. She's full of quirky wisdom and the friendship he needs to face his problems. And she's quite funny.What starts out to be a nice film, turns sour and totally unbelievable. See this fim only if you absolutely must."
Step Away from the Implausible Plot, Enjoy thisTour de Force
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE YOU BABY is light and fluffy and for all its faults, bounces around like a parody of American chick flicks and retro TV shows. Even the soundtrack is primarily well-known songs from the US and despite some of the criticisms of the rather implausible plot, the story is powered by some very talented and energetic actors who make us want to go along with the silly but sad tale.
Marcos (Jorge Sanz) enters Madrid to make money to support his family back home and to pursue his dream of owning a big restaurant. Asking directions to his aunt and uncle's cafe, he incidentally queries Marisol (Tiare Scanda), a Dominican beauty who likewise has moved to Madrid to make enough money to support her five-year-old daughter back in the Dominican Republic. Marisol flutters; Marcos obliviously plunges on to his destination. Once ensconced in his relatives gracious little home, Marcos begins to work in their cafe and Marisol quietly stalks this 'ideal' man of her dreams. Marcos soon becomes bored with his evenings at home and ventures out in Madrid where he encounters the gay, handsome would-be actor Daniel (Santiago Magill, a personality to watch!), shares coffee, and they agree to meet the next day. Meet they do and the sexually ambivalent Marcos finds himself in his first affair with a man!
Daniel is a charming and romantic idealist who is madly in love with Marcos and finds his support for his quasi-successful ventures into film from Marcos' presence and the warm friendship he has with his long-term female, gay supportive friend Carmen (Veronique Forque) who accepts her life as a wallflower and sublimates her fantasies in Daniel's love affairs. The three (Marcos, Daniel, and Carmen) visit a gay club where during a karaoke number a palladium ball falls striking Marcos on the head. He recovers but finds his sexual orientation changed and when Marisol's endless pursuits continue, he bonds with her.
Marcos must now decide between Daniel and Marisol and Marisol wins. Not one to give up on love so easily, Daniel decides that if a hit on the head can change his new lover's preferences, then he (Daniel) will simply dress as a woman to gain him back. How this all plays out - the triangle of two men and a woman influenced by the close friends of Daniel and Marisol - is the unfortunately corny part of an otherwise lighthearted comedy romance. The resolution offends some by its apparent inference that 'straight relationships' are more valid than 'gay relationships', but that can be in how you choose to view it. The fault of the film is not the resolution of the triangle: the fault is in the realm of the absurd that the last five minutes takes us. Rather unforgivable - or is it a taste of Latin magical realism?
The film has some fine moments and the acting of Santiago Magill and Veronique Forque is first rate. The supporting cast is excellent and the tastes of Madrid at night are beautiful. Not a great film, but certainly one with enough entertainment to make it worth your time. Grady Harp, March 05"