Days Of Vinyl

***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

"The film is overlong - a symptom of having such a lot of key players - but Nesci balances the individual storylines well, especially considering this is a debut piece."

It is a general rule of romcom that you can play around with the conventions as much as you like but the formula will get you in the end. So it is with Gabriel Nesci's warm-hearted debut, although it initiall keeps its romantic elements successfully in check by wedding them to a buddy movie framework.

Four pals Damián (Gastón Pauls), Luciano (Fernán Mirás), Marcelo (Ignacio Toselli) and Facundo (Rafael Spregelburd), became friends as children, bonding over a stash of vinyl records that they came across by chance. Now, hitting their thirties, the question is what next? Scriptwriter Damián has one film and a failed relationship under his belt, DJ Luciano is obsessed with a musican more interested in playing the field, Facundo is getting cold feet about his imminent wedding to long-time girlfriend Karina (Maricel Álvarez) and Marcelo can't seem to see past the next gig with his Beatles tribute band.

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Nesci has crafted a farcical but affecting comedy that hinges on the friendship between the men as much as their relationships with women, with the focus less on character than on quick-fire scripting. Despite the men's failings, they all have a hang-dog charm that keeps you onside. The female characters are fine, although only Inés Efron as Damián's bubbly and irrepressible possible love interest Vera really makes a mark, with Karina, Marcelo's love interest Yenny (Akemi Nakamura) and musician bad girl Lila (Emilia Attías) being used more to fulfil the plot manoeuvres than as characters in their own right.

The film is overlong - a symptom of having such a lot of key players - but Nesci balances the individual storylines well, especially considering this is a debut piece. The soundtrack is also a crowdpleaser, particularly for anyone who grew up on an Eighties diet of music such as Queen, Phil Collins and The Smiths. Despite an over-reliance on voice-over to get the film out of the starting blocks and one too many montage scenes, Nesci delivers plenty of smart one-liners and visual gags, with the experienced cast handling the comedy well.

Like many a first-time feature maker, Nesci tries to cram in such a lot that his film is in danger of being overstuffed with incident and it is the scenes where the characters have more time to interact that prove most memorable. The multiple endings required to tie-up each man's story leave it feeling flatter than it should but there is no denying this group of friends have an infectious charm.

Reviewed on: 07 Mar 2014
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Four friends consider their lives as one of them prepares to get married.

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Viva 2014

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