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Can’t Help But Love Soledad

The opening night for the 13th Cine Las Américas International Film Festival kicked off with the 2008 Argentinean film, Amorosa Soledad, produced by Hernan Musaluppi and Natacha Cervi. Starring in this romantic comedy includes Inés Efron, Fabián Vena, and Nicolás Pauls, however, it could be said that Ms. Efron is the sole shining star of the film as you could not but fall in love with her. The portrayal of Soledad is affectionately played by Ms. Efron that anyone, male and female, can relate to the inner struggle that she confronts in a humorous manner. I suspect it would be labelled as a “chick flick” being that this sort of self-examination is commonly experienced and observed among women, though I venture to stay that there are men that experience this same struggle, manifested in its own way.

There are times, sudden lonely times, when the thought of being alone turns into introspection. Have I ever been alone? Can I be alone? Am I able to be with myself? Coupled with the sudden loss of companionship it is easy to quickly answer, No, no, and no. Soledad however, the principal character in Amorosa Soledad, works through this introspection for the very first time in her life. After her boyfriend leaves and having uninvolved parents, Soledad resolves to experience being alone for two to three years. A decision made in response to the emotional hurt with which she is dealing, as well as the perceived physical pain she is feeling. She begins to deal with the throbbing by visiting a medical clinic, hoping to be seen by a cardiologist and not the usual clinician. Later she purchases a pretty blood pressure machine, one that keeps a historical record of daily readings, all in an attempt to heal the pain. Her resolve, declared to a fellow patient awaiting his turn with the doctor, is that of learning to be alone and allowing herself such lonely experience. The audience is quickly engaged by the film’s introspective premise and attempts to give advice, one could feel it all around the theatre. Even as we freely offer answers to Soledad, the questions linger in our own mind and initiate our own self-examination. When was the last time I was totally and truly alone?

It was enjoyable to live through Soledad’s lonely experience as she encounters life trials in handling common daily challenges. A plugged toilet should not be a big deal. However for Soledad, obviously not having lived through a clogged toilet alone, this becomes a symbolic challenge. In the course of days she takes this ordeal on as the ultimate test. She attempts to flush it several times to no avail. She timidly tries using a toilet plunger, no luck. She changes its use to that of an end table, covering it with a nice wrap and placing a votive candle on top. As time passes, she begins to put in a call to a plumber only to be interrupted by a phone call from her ex. Finally the toilet is fixed by a new lover, who happens to have the same name as her ex, thinking it would be more practical for a toilet to be used for its purpose rather than an end table. Soledad is somewhat annoyed by this help, as it was her personal challenge, and continues to use the bidet instead.

Cannot help but love Soledad. It was a good opening selection, light-hearted and fun, to begin the film festival which gives promise to a varied selection of diverse films. Download a screening schedule here.

Argentina, Romantic Comedy

Spanish with English subtitles