Documentary – UK / World Première
John Roberts / UK / 2012 / 100 min
Due to sites like Facebook and Twitter’s instant ability to “connect” the world as news happens, a cacophony of superficial tributes combined with snide insults will inevitably trivialise circumstances of death. John Roberts’ romcom, mixed with a coming of age tale, depicts Glaswegian sisters Rosa (Eva Birthistle) and Ailie’s (Charity Wakefield) difficulties in tracking down their mother’s grave in Cuba in order to unite it with their late father’s ashes.
Even with exotic landscapes and beguiling Latin rhythms, Roberts’ “comedy” is riling to watch. The relationship between the sisters is forced, achieving neither flash-pan ferocity with their squabbles or heart-warming compassion in their tender moments. The stiltedness seeps through to the rest of the script, dampening any sense of humour as we instead try to calculate which of the sisters is more annoying. The transparent exposition, the obvious attempts to represent Rosa on the political left and the gauche ballet scene painting love interest Tomas as a “good guy” prevent this film from settling as the cheery family drama it clearly wants to be. Its dismal endeavours to comment on politics (despite associating itself with la Revolución) and the trite family values theme create instead an artificial adventure lacking depth.
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