Movie Moxie covers SDLFF 2012 — Labios Rojos (Red Lips)

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

 

Director: Rafael Lara

Review Rating: 8

Successful Ad-man Ricardo has the perfect life with his wife Blanca and two children – until the roof falls in, Ricardo can’t “rise” to the occasion, and it all culminates with hilarious consequences.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – the movie is lauded as a comedic romantic melodrama, and it’s all about a guy with erectile dysfunction. And yes, the opening sequence narrated by Ricardo does have a lot of nudity and masturbation, but hey, we have to establish a sense of the main character, and his apparent obsession with red lips. We move from adolescent discovery, to teenage desperation, to young adult ardor and thence marriage and the kids, and the path of a seemingly perfect life laid out. But then Ricardo changes jobs, gets seriously stressed out, and begins being unable to have the relations with the wife, who of course goes out of her mind practically trying to find out why. The fact that there are children, but they’re barely shown in the movie and certainly aren’t the driving force behind the lack of arousal, was a fine choice on the part of the movie makers in my opinion. It’s a cheap ploy that’s been used way too often, and the movie has such strong acting in a universally understood manner, that that sort of plot point really isn’t needed.

So Ricardo starts doing as many remedies as he can get his hands on, such as “wake-em-up tea”, promiscuous brotherly advice, clubbing and even sadly “variety”. While his wife Blanca turns to some unlikely characters for helpful advice – her mother, who advises her to bear with it, since it’s really not as bad as some of the other things her husband could be doing; the flamingly homosexual friend who works with Ricardo and makes seriously poor assumptions; even a pair of friends who so generously remind Blanca that she’s aging and bodily things are falling, leaving her to get burned-assed at a skin treatment spa. Blanca makes a stab at the dress-up and toys approach with Ricardo, and it seemed to be working even a little, only to be ruined when the kids come in and say they want to dress up as Batman and Catwoman too! Ricardo is running around smoking like a chimney, trying to get his new ad campaign with a difficult client going while thinking he’s being followed by the Freeway bandits, and even being pursued by a very lithe female coworker. And Blanca is even getting so desperate she even goes to a Brujo (Wizard) and almost ends up getting raped, plus the comedic detectives she hired to find out what Ricardo’s up to get her in a mistaken car accident and almost arrested! It all culminates in a scene where Ricardo and Blanca finally do what they should’ve done way at the beginning of the movie – talked to eachother. And then they express their love, and Ricardo finally rediscovers his stirrings, when he returns to his wife’s red lips.

It’s a lovely, funny movie, and I enjoyed it immensely. Jorge Salinas, who stars as Ricardo, was actually there for the showing of the film, along with his co-star Silvia Navarro as wife Blanca. Their entire opening speech was in Spanish, and I wish there had at least been a translator – I bet there was all sorts of interesting tidbits about the movie from the two main stars that I missed.

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