A well made, but difficult to watch, melodrama from Spain
Penumbra | Atlanta, GA USA | 10/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is almost nothing in this Spanish melodrama to lighten the mood. Even the weather doesn't cooperate - in all the outdoor scenes it's either raining heavily or the characters are dodging mud puddles from a recent storm.
Chus (Jorge Sanz) is a young man with aspirations of becoming an artist, like his famous mother. Whether a lack of talent leads him to alcohol and drug addiction, or whether his addictions impair his artistic abilities isn't clear. What is clear is that he isn't making it as an artist. He has anger and violence issues. Although he tries to get clean from time to time for the sake of his wife and son, he can't stay with it.
Chus is married to Elena (Maribel Verdú). Elena is very happy to have landed a great job as a TV weather girl in Madrid. She's also delighted with her role as mother to a young son. All the problems in her life derive from dealing with Chus' addictions, depression, and violent bouts of jealousy. But Chus and Elena have been together for a very long time; on some level she still loves him and can't think of abandoning him.
Although they don't know each other, Chus and Elena occasionally cross paths with another Madrid couple. Oscar (Darío Grandinetti) a successful record company executive and his former fashion model wife, Sara (María Barranco). Sara may have some personality issues and may drink a bit too much wine but, after a tragedy strikes their family, she falls into full depression and alcoholism. Oscar is always busy with his demanding career and spends little time at home. Both of them realize they are trapped in a hopeless situation, but Sara is dependent on Oscar and Oscar has no intention of leaving his fragile wife.
Everything changes after Oscar and Elena meet in a hospital waiting room when their spouses are admitted to an Emergency Care Unit on the same day.
Will Oscar and Elena find happiness together, or will they return to their sad lives and support their recovering spouses?
In interviews with the director and cast, they point out that the addiction people feel to long term, though failed, relationships is often stronger than substance addictions.
"Stormy Weather" is a good looking film, and the cast are convincing in their roles. But be advised it's difficult to watch. The film is filled with addiction, violence, adultery, tragedy, depression, and other unpleasant topics.
Spanish with English subtitles.
The DVD extras include interviews with the director and principle cast members, and trailers for several other Spanish language films. A nice additional touch is that these features are also captioned with subtitles.