1994, PG-13, 101 min. Directed by Whit Stillman. Starring Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Tushka Bergen, Mira Sorvino, Pep Munne.

REVIEWED By Brian Baker, Fri., Aug. 12, 1994

From its opening montage of beautiful Spanish scenery and terrorist explosions, it is apparent that Barcelona is a movie of dichotomies. The differences between the native Spaniards and the visiting Americans on politics, women, and hamburgers fuels the entire film. In fact, the only thing in the movie that there is no difference between is the two protagonists. This is because they are both whiny men living in their past who are lucky enough to have a film made about their journey toward a mature relationship. A journey that occurs only in the film's final minutes. If this sounds less than interesting to watch, it is. Ted Boynton (Nichols) is an American salesman who lives his drab, uneventful life as if it were one of his business meetings. His wild cousin, Fred (Eigeman), is sent to Barcelona to scope out the atmosphere for the U.S. Navy. He invades the quiet shell Ted has built up for himself by staying at Ted's flat for the duration of his visit. Soon, Fred is forcing the Barcelona night life on his lackluster cousin while they bicker about events that occurred when they were ten years old. The various women the two cousins encounter present the film's only decent spark of characterization. Barcelona does have brief flashes of brilliance like Fred's defense of American violence (“Oh sure, shootings. That doesn't mean we're more violent, just better shots.”) and his reinterpretation of the ending to The Graduate. For the most part, however, Barcelona offers nothing much interesting beyond some beautiful scenery and generally annoying characters.

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Barcelona, Whit Stillman, Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Tushka Bergen, Mira Sorvino, Pep Munne

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