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Sex and Lucia
In Theaters July 12
Director: Julio Medem

Secreto, mi amor…

Wow…holy fucking wow.

This movie was a journey into the very darkness of love and betrayal. The title may be suggestive, and yes, there is plenty of sex, beautifully depicted. But that's just the beginning. The movie is so much more.

The movie begins with the end of a relationship and Lucia, performed by the incredible and luscious Paz Vega. Her boyfriend, despondent over things that are soon to be discovered, hangs up on her at work - a situation we all can relate to. She frantically rushes home, to find him gone. So begins her journey into the past and future of her relationship with a writer who can't keep fiction and reality apart.

Much like a relationship, this movie follows Lucia's flashbacks of her boyfriend, Lorenzo, played brilliantly by Tristan Ulloa, as he has a nameless one night under in the stars, in the sea, with Elena, a luminous Najwa Nimri, and then goes on his way back to Madrid. There, he is propositioned by Lucia, who proclaims her love for him. The sweetness in this moment is summed up by his one line response, that is too wonderful to ruin in review.

From there, we experience their love blossom and their sex life explode. The passion is delicious, pure and so amazing to watch unfold. The story then swings back to the present, to Lucia's escape the island Lorenzo told her many times of, and seeks to mend her heart and soul. There she meets and lives with Elena, and what might seem soap operatic coincidence makes perfect sense.

The story is complex, leading us through the secrets, lies and complications of a man and the women he betrayed. Medem is a virtuoso of storytelling. I was riveted, my heart soaring and breaking with each twist in the plot. I could not escape his intricate web of story and emotion. I was mute and breathless, awed by the beauty of the cinematography and acting. Nothing was wasted here and the small and large moments balanced each other well.

The subplot of the porn star, her lover and her daughter is truly tragic. And the warp in the tale between the writer's version and reality brings a tone of incest and Electra complex into the already convoluted storyline. Medem mixes the ideas of sex and love in a cowardly man, overwhelmed by his mistakes and fears. He seeks out shame and disgrace, debasing himself and those around him to make his self-loathing reality.

I can't remember when a movie has moved me so much. It took a few days to write this review, because the story razed me and left me with nothing to say but wow. Really - wow. It's a movie for men and women - exceptional and unique - that spells out a story we all have lived through, in some part or another. See this film and be inspired and brokenhearted in one evening. See it with someone you love.

By Melissa Ulto
Copyright - 2002



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