Monday, July 7, 2014

Movie of the Week – Love in the Time of Hysteria

This week’s movie: Love in the Time of Hysteria (1991)

Tomas Tomas is a yuppie womanizer who gets around. Something changes for him, however, when he sees a young woman that might actually alter his ways. She is a flight attendant named Clarisa (who also happens to be his neighbor). Before Tomas can make his move, a spurned former lover (a nurse named Silvia) decides to play a joke on him (albeit kind of a sick, immoral and mean-spirited one). She alters a recent HIV test Tomas took to say positive instead of negative. Now, Tomas is suicidal, as he would rather have a quick death than slowly die of A.I.D.S. Clarisa too is considering taking her own life after her boyfriend cheats on her (it is all a bit overdramatic really). Maybe Tomas and Clarisa can find solace in each other as they approach death.

Love in the Time of Hysteria is auteur Alfonso Cuaron’s first feature film, which he co-wrote with his brother Carlos Cuaron. It is also Cuaron’s first major collaboration with cinematographer (and childhood friend) Emmanuel Lubezki. Cuaron has worked with his brother and Lubezki many times since. Production designer Brigitte Broch also worked on the film.

The film features a good cast lead by Daniel Gimenez Cacho, with Claudia Ramirez, Luis de Icaza, Astrid Hadad, and Dobrina Liubomirova in support.

Alfonso Cuaron just won a Best Director Oscar for Gravity and has also made the fantastic films Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Children of Men. Love in the Time of Hysteria is not quite a well-polished as those films, but it features many of the same elements (especially playfulness in its tone). It is an interesting and different take on the classic romantic comedy setup and is also very funny. It is well worth checking out for fans of Cuaron’s work.

Trailer: Here
Available on: DVD

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