'My Big Night': San Sebastian Review | Hollywood Reporter

"It's all so absurd, you can all just what you want," the floor manager barks out at the multiple extras in My Big Night , and that's exactly what director Alex de la Iglesia has done. The days of film makers pretending that fiction can outdo reality may be long gone, but this madcap comedy - and yes, it's basically old-fashioned enough to deserve that moniker - shows that the church seems prepared to give it one last shot with this yarn about the struggle to film a New Year TV special.

If you wanted to get serious about My Big Night , you'd say that it was a 60s- strong> Fellini -last record of the night that old-style variety performance, swollen by its own audience-seeking successes, finally blew up. But My Big Night does not want you to get serious. It wants you to sit back and enjoy the ride, and mostly you will, if overblown kitsch, hammerhead subtlety and gags are your thing. What is frustrating is not the film itself, but its director: of the Church seems permanently blighted by a boyish restlessness which so far has prevented him from slowing down and taking stock to make the special film he's capable of. My Big Night will be big business in Spain, but it's a very Hispanic item which will consolidate rather than enhance its reputation among its festival fans.

It is October. In the studios of a non-too fictionalized Spanish TV station, the 2015 New Year's Eve Special is being filmed. Outside the building there are wild scenes involving pickets, police and an autograph-hunting public, and inside, things are even worse than a lighting rig collapses and kills an extra. This is not a tender-hearted film, but it does not end the sympathy to the miserable lives. drafted in to fill the space left by the dead man.

Other notable characters (and they're by no means all notable) are the attractive Paloma (Blanca Suarez) , who strangely flirts with Jose but who is jinxed, a running joke which quickly starts to limp; director, hard-smoking Rosa Carmen Machi , doing a terrific, energetic turn; presenters Roberto (Hugo Silva) and Cristina (Carolina Bang) , who hate each other, surprise surprise, with Cristina cleverly turning out the sexist patter of their cheesy double act; and Benitez Santiago Segura of Torrente fame, currently Spain's best-known funny man, here gifted, perhaps ironically by his old buddy Churches, the straightest role of the evening Almost inevitably, Terele Pavez Jose's mother, a long-time standby church in a film full of them, turns up to steal the show whenever she appears.

'My Big Night': San Sebastian Review | Hollywood Reporter

My Big Night is itself about the subversive as the TV show it's about. There's no point in satirizing all this spectacular excess, the film suggests, especially if you suspect that there's a part of the church that really, really likes it: let's just have fun. It's all crazed, madcap, and unfailingly breathless, if not unfailingly inventive, even at the visual level: and little about it lingers in the memory for longer than about five minutes after the roll credits.

This being a Spanish, the acting is ham-flavored. There are a few laugh-aloud moments but no real sharp edge anywhere, except when images of Francoist newsreels are accidentally projected behind one of the (actually quite well-done) dance sequences. At this point, the film is briefly both funny and edgy, and it's felt most strongly as a reminder of the film's multiple wasted opportunities.

Special mention should be made of Raphael, a sprightly Spanish 71 year-old with a still-titanic voice who has sold millions of records, but who is a figure of fun in Spain to most people under 55. He really didn ' James Bond comedy villain than many actors who can not sing. James Bond is a comedy villain who can not be singled out. If Raphael's audience can be persuaded off their sofas and into cinemas, it will make a big difference to My Big Night s fortunes, but this is a canny move which will make him new fans in these oh- so-ironical times. Production company: Enrique Cerezo PC
Cast: Raphael, Mario Casas, Pepon Nieto, Blanca Suarez, Santiago Segura

, Carlos Areces, Enrique Villen, Jaime Ordonez, Terele Pavez, Carolina Bang, Hugo Silva
Director: Alex de la Iglesia
Screenwriter: Alex de la Iglesia, Jorge Guerricaecheverria
Producer: Carlos Bernases
Director of photography: Angel Amoros
Production designers: Arturo Garcia (Biafra), Jose Luis Arrizabalaga (Arri)
Costume designer: Paola Torres
Publisher: Domingo Gonzalez
Composer: Joan Valent
Sales: Film Factory Entertainment

14A, 100 minutes

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