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Thursday, April 14, 2016

'My Big Night' Theatrical & VOD: Madcap Spanish Comedy Frantic From Start to Finish



Breaking Glass Pictures awesomely breaks international barriers in bringing the 2015 Spanish comedy "My Big Night" by cult director Alex de la Iglesia to American theaters and VOD platforms on April 15, 2015 following a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Although this wide release coincides with the deadline for paying Uncle Sam more than his due, there is nothing taxing about thus film that is entertainingly frantic from the opening credits to the closing scene.

As an initial matter, the numerous musical numbers and the large scale of the film (as well as the relatively nice April weather in the U.S.) favors seeing "Night" in a theater.

The fast pace and numerous bizarre elements of "Night" earn it apt comparison to the 2013 Pedro Almodovar Spanish comedy "I'm So Excited." This time, the constant chaos moves from a passenger jet to a television studio in which a star-studded New Year's Eve celebration is being filmed in October.

"Night" awesomely starts with opening credits that feature an epic song-and-dance number featuring a Sonny and Cher style married couple that has the same marital problems as that real-life duo. Scenes of that performance are interspersed with scenes of a director (who evokes images of legendary Belgian documentarian Chantal Akerman) literally calling the shots and of the cast of 1,000s extras being treated as the cattle whom they are that have been called to perform. 

One of the best of several black comedy moments soon follows in which a careless camera operator repeatedly harms one of the aforementioned extras. This opens the door for middle-aged middle-class extra Jose to literally and figuratively come on the scene.

"Night" additional features Spanish singer/actor Raphael as wonderfully brutal veteran singer Alphonso. This hilariously brutal sadist gleefully drives a pen through the hand of a flunky one minute and mentally and physically abuses his son/attorney/manager the next. 

The foils of Alphonso include current teen idol pop star Adanne, who has the tanned ripped body and long golden hair of '90s celebrity Fabio and the mentality of Justin Bieber.  Actor Mario Casas seems to derive as much pleasure from portraying Adanne as we do watching him. He particularly shines in performing the amusingly suggestive Adanne hit "Fireman." 

The drama surrounding Adanne includes the Congo dancer who is plotting to use the result from performing oral sex to impregnate herself with a blackmail baby, 

Other mayhem comes in the form of an increasingly violent mob outside the studio, a jinx attaching herself to Jose, an assassination plot, and a  decades-old secret.

de la Iglesia deserves great credit if only for keeping so may plates spinning at the same time. As stated above, the action never abates. He further keeps the multiple plots going while things are literally and figuratively falling down around the characters. The aforementioned director barely letting having her command center flip over phase her is a prime example of this, Not many Atlases could keep this mad, mad, mad world perched on his (or her) shoulders as well as this director/writer.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Night" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,