At least one can't accuse the Spanish-language film "En La Cama" (translation: "In Bed") of fiscal irresponsibility. All of its 85 minutes take place in a hotel room (and adjoining bathroom) with a total cast of two.

That duo is Daniela and Bruno "? played by Blanca Lewin and Gonzalo Valenzuela, respectively "? who, as the film opens, are having sex. They've just met at a party and don't even know each others' names yet, but for whatever reason, copulation ensued.

And it does a couple more times before the film is through. They talk, they bicker, they fight, and they "¦ well, you know. Much of it is explicit and looks as if it might be unsimulated; either way, it is at once erotic and repellent, depending on the moods and motivations of the characters. For example, when Bruno calls Daniela by another woman's name, she's incensed, and the whole situation feels ugly.

Worse, "En La Cama" is just boring. One can see the value of this kind of setup for a short film, but as a feature, it's simply spread too thin. If this were a Hollywood film featuring household-name stars, critics would tear it to it for its pretentiousness. Just because it's a foreign film made by people we don't know doesn't mean we should cut it some slack. It's one of those indie efforts where the only "art" in it is from the word "artificial."

"?Rod Lott


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