Lucia Lucia

In Lucia Lucia, All About My Mother's Cecilia Roth plays an unreliable narrator honest enough to concede her own dishonesty. Roth's spunky protagonist repeatedly admits that she (and, by implication, the film) bends the truth to heighten the drama, a cute gimmick that doesn't amount to much in a cute movie that breathlessly goes nowhere. Roth begins the film in a rut that blows up into a full-blown midlife crisis after her boring bureaucrat husband is kidnapped by a shadowy Maoist terrorist group. Desperate for answers, she finds a pair of unlikely allies in Carlos Álvarez-Novoa, a kindly old former Castro compatriot whose white beard makes him look like a slimmed-down Santa Claus, and Kuno Becker, an earnest, attractive younger man with a schoolboy crush on Roth. As the unlikely trio tries to figure out what happened to her husband, every new piece of information they acquire makes the overall picture fuzzier. Could Roth's husband be in on the kidnapping? Are the police involved? Is Roth being punk'd by a certain Ashton Kutcher? That last question, at least, can be answered with a definitive "no," but a surprise appearance by everyone's favorite excitable prankster would be preferable to the sleepy answer the film has in store. Lucia Lucia gets off to a lively start, aided by a game cast and vibrant, colorful direction. The film ropes the audience into joining its protagonists on an unpredictable ride, but it soon becomes apparent that writer-director Antonio Serrano's kinetic contraption is little more than a wild goose chase underpinned by social commentary too vague and cynical to be effective. Lucia Lucia has its moments, but by the time it reaches its anticlimax, Roth won't be the only one irritated at getting jerked around for no discernible reason.

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