“An Unexpected Love” (M) **** and a half
FOR his directorial debut after a prolific career as a producer, Juan Vera joined Daniel Cuparo (for whom this is his feature film debut after a prolific TV career) to write a screenplay telling how a mature Argentinian couple dealt with themselves and their marriage after their only son leaves to see the world.
It’s a warm, intelligent observation of the stage when the past becomes another country, the present poses difficult questions of adjustment and the future raises new problems about life and how to live it. Without being didactic nor skirting around the edges of its issues, “An Unexpected Love” sets up its events on a narrative platform that might describe any vital, middle-aged couple.
That age cohort by no means excludes younger audiences with parents coping with or confronting analogous situations. Suddenly with little to do at the end of days pursuing their academic professions, Ana and Marcos come home to polite listlessness. Change becomes inevitable.
Their solution is simple. It shocks friends and relatives whose business it really is not. They will split from the marriage and follow separate paths in relationships and lifestyles. Separate lives during the following decade form the film’s main structure.
As Ana, who can walk into a room full of people and become the focus of attention within seconds, the best word for Mercedes Moran is “splendid”. As Marcos, Ricardo Darin is what I suspect most warm-blooded women might regard as dishy. The supporting cast is no less effective. The women transiting Marcos’s life are enthusiastic. The men into whose beds Ana chooses to jump don’t have to do much heavy lifting.
Sexual flings sprinkle a narrative principally about domestic moments – moving out of the apartment, selling the apartment, little daily habits. The film’s examination of life’s minutiae and relationships is credible. Vera and Cuparo are inviting the audience to watch and learn. Which is no bad purpose for a quite entertaining film.
At Palace Electric