Bernardo Villela is like a mallrat except at the movies. He is a writer, director, editor and film enthusiast who seeks to continue to explore and learn about cinema, chronicle the journey and share his findings.
Based on a hit Brazilian play the screenplay also co-written by Miguel Falabella is wonderful. If you can get a hold of this movie it’s really worthwhile. Glória Pires, Lilia Cabral, Andrea Beltrão, and Paloma Duarte interact as real sisters do and it’s great fun watching them try to steal scenes from one another. The interesting thing about this film is that it was filmed with all master shots and it’s incredible how well it works in a comedy. The performances truly shine in this film which is funny and often touching. This is a film that is universally funny and appealing and I’m surprised it didn’t get wider exposure
Windows doesn’t discriminate between regions any longer, and neither does Macintosh. Even if they do you should get a warning when inserting a Non-Region 1 DVD (meaning one made for distribution outside the US, Canada and Mexico) saying what region it is and asking if you want to change your computer’s region. Typically, there has been a set limit on how many times you could change regions before it became a permanent switch. Even if your computer is more finicky you still have an opportunity to watch many more DVDs, many of which you can only find online, that you never thought you could before.
Some foreign films have limited appeal and distribution internationally. You should take that into account when traveling overseas and pick up some movies you won’t find in the US. Taking that in to consideration this critic made a number of purchases when in Brazil in 2008 to set up a mini-festival.
Se Eu Fosse Voce (If I Were You)
If I Were You (20th Century Fox Brazil)
This is a genre film. It’s a trading places story which is funny and elevated due to the tremendous performances of the ensemble specifically Tony Ramos and Gloria Pires. While very few of these films go out of their way to try and explain the catalyst of the switch this one does. While in other films most notably Freaky Friday the switch is caused by a minimal twist of fate like a fortune cookie. This film operates on a much more cosmic level with planets aligning, which makes you wonder why they’re the only ones, especially considering the jokey ending which, seemed to imply another switch which would’ve been impossible by the rules established at that point.
Another thing that absolutely undoes all the good work of the cast is the fact that the cat should be let out of the bag about their trading places when Ramos’s character, now a woman trying to pass herself as a man, receives a phone call from her husband trying to live as a woman; at that time of the month and in need of guidance. Unfortunately, the secretary announces it’s his wife so the staff overhears part of the conversation chuckles, this is not something that can be forgiven. He should’ve tried to cover by saying it was a mistake and it was his daughter calling. Worst still this occurrence was about where Act II was turning to Act III so it lightened the climax and rendered it an anti-climax because there was no longer the risk of being found out. We know they will understand one another and the opposite sex better. That’s a given of this subgenre what we need for entertainment purposes is some suspense.
It’s a harmless film in the end. It’s not the kind of bad film that gets you angry but just upset that great performances and talents were wasted in a simplistic tale with obvious flaws that could’ve been easily corrected.