Friends Have Reasons

Friends Have Reasons


Reviewed by: Trinity

Marta (Marta Belaustegui), Santi (Joel Joan) and Carlos (Sergi Calleja) meet regularly in the same restaurant in Madrid for lunch. Lifelong friends, each is now settled into stable relationships. The professional Marta shares an apartment with Guillermo, who wants to start a family. Santi, a university lecturer, leads a carefree existence with the fey Sol. Carlos has a wife, Ainhoa, and a young son.

Carlos also has his own business, which is having financial difficulties. He asks his two friends for a loan and both agree to support him. But as his company struggles, Carlos finds himself unable to repay the money on time. As the months go by, each friend finds their personal lives tested and their relationships altered forever.

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Essentially, this is a slight piece, a series of incidents woven around a central theme, offering benefits and disadvantages. Screenwriter Gonzalez-Sinde has adapted the novel, La Conquista Del Aire, by Belen Gopegui, and managed to capture much of the dialogue of friendship. And what happens when things turn sour.

Director Gerardo Herrero elicits fine performances from his actors, especially the put-upon Calleja. However, the dialogue-driven, yet simplistic structure means the film appears too long for its subject and can become bogged down in discourse on Spanish politics. It is at its best when exposing the humanity of its characters, showing frailty, as well as strength.

One of them remarks, "It's hard to keep things simple". Herrero and Gonzalez-Sinde succeed in doing just that.

Reviewed on: 20 Aug 2001
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A loan undermines three friends relationship.

Director: Gerardo Herrero

Writer: Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde

Starring: Marta Belaustegui, Joel Joan, Sergi Calleja

Year: 2000

Runtime: 109 minutes

Country: Spain


EIFF 2001

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