El Otro lado de la cama
starring Ernesto Alterio, Paz Vega, Guillermo Toledo, Natalia Verbeke
screenplay by David Serrano
directed by Emilio Martínez Lázaro
by Bill Chambers By the fifteen-minute mark of The Other Side of the Bed (El Otro lado de la cama), actresses Paz Vega and Natalia Verbeke have both doffed their clothes and bedded down the same man, but the movie, a musical, is--or wants to be--as sanitary as an Elvis vehicle. Director Emilio Martínez Lázaro labours to make promiscuity innocent again, if ever there was such a thing, and his sense of whimsy is quite seductive at first, since films about the self-interested are so often as shallow or tunnel-visioned as their protagonists (see: Thirteen). Lázaro risks, of course, glossing over his characters' predicaments to the point of condescension by leeching the film of any gloom, but something possibly worse insinuates itself, a kind of apathy as it occurs that frothiness is being used to evade subjecitivity altogether. The Other Side of the Bed is colourfully sterile, if you will, an ensemble piece in the noncommittal sense of the term, and if you find yourself empathizing with anyone on screen, it's generally because she's not wearing pants at the time.