Pansexual frolics in Madrid's club scene
Libretio | 06/16/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
NOT LOVE, JUST FRENZY
[Más que Amor Frenesí]
(Spain - 1996)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Digital
The staff and customers of a popular Madrid nightclub - gay, straight and everything in between - are thrown into disarray by the arrival of a handsome stranger (Nancho Novo) whose life is threatened by a corrupt cop (Javier Manrique) seeking to connect him with a brutal murder.
Virtually every review to date has compared this outrageous Spanish melodrama to the early work of Pedro Almodovar, and while the movie was clearly inspired by that director's commercial success, NOT LOVE, JUST FRENZY is hugely enjoyable on its own terms, despite an initial lack of focus and a series of disappointing plot developments toward the end of the film. Co-written and directed by Miguel Bardem and debut filmmakers Alfonso Albarete and David Menkes (I LOVE YOU BABY), the movie features some of Spain's sexiest rising stars - including popular actress/TV presenter Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (HISTORIAS DEL KRONEN) as a trampy nightclub owner with the hots for Novo, and Gustavo Salmerón (99.9) as the eternal party-boy who dumps his deceitful boyfriend Javier Albalá (SECOND SKIN) to pursue an impossible infatuation with the unattainable, ultra-beautiful Liberto Rabal (LIVE FLESH) - and includes cameo appearances by Penelope Cruz (blink and you'll miss her), Javier Bardem (ditto) and Almodovar favorite Bibi Andersen as a lesbian pimp(!).
The script combines sure-fire commercial elements (unrequited love, sexual betrayal, nymphomania, etc.) with layers of melodramatic excess (the gigolo who swears he was framed for murder, the psycho cop determined to nail him come what may), and the movie indulges an exhilarating sexual candor, including a heated exchange between Salmerón and Albalá in a shower, Novo and Guillén Cuervo enjoying a wild encounter in front of a bank of video monitors, and - in the film's most romantic episode - Rabal's full-frontal nude scene on a rooftop at midnight. All in all, voyeurs will certainly get their money's worth!
About halfway through, however, the movie surrenders its 'gay' credentials and descends into mere 'camp', dropping several interesting plot threads to focus on Manrique's increasingly psychotic behavior as he launches a series of violent assaults on the primary female characters (the final sequence is a jaw-dropping combination of sex, death and bodily fluids!). Still, the movie is well-played by an engaging young cast (watch out for the lovely shot of Guillén Cuervo sweeping down a crowded high street in a billowing Victorian-style party dress!), and most viewers will be impressed by the filmmakers' refusal to compromise their eccentric ideals.
Just plain fun if not terribly deep
tamiii | San Juan Capistrano, Ca. United States | 10/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The plot is simple enough...she and her two roomates throw a party to find a fourth. Meanwhile, her ex comes back but with the police after him for a suspected sex murder. All of which is a mere excuse for meeting a gorgeous gigolo, a foxy starlet, one cool madam, and a host of flashy queens, not to mention a cabal of street agitators--all of whom move to a disco beat. If you like Pedro Almodovar, you probably love this."
Just plain crazy fun!
Ray Pavia | Houston | 07/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent movie. It was extremly entertaining, cleaver, well acted and directed, erotic and overall well done."
Just love not frenzy,DVD
Franz Kafka | Moscow, Russia | 10/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very sweet, Almodovar's style movie about Spanish club life, drugs, homo- and hetero sex affairs and crime. Lots of music, stylish drugqueens and emotional dialogs - all that stuff which we love in Spanish cinema."