El sexo de los ángeles

El sexo de los angelesSynopsis: Sometimes passion bas no boundaries

After struggling martial artist and hip-hop dancer Bruno (Llorenc Gonzalez) is violently mugged on a Barcelona street, mysterious and magnetic fellow dancer Rai (Alvaro Cervantes) comes to his rescue. A free spirit who defies convention, the hyper-masculine Rai makes a pass at the stunned Bruno, and in just a few short hours a solid connection develops between them. When Bruno returns home to his girlfriend Carla (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), he’s suddenly confronted with a crisis: can he be true to both Carla and Rai as well as his own feelings? An honest and kinetic examination of relationships and gender identity, The Angels Of Sex shows just how hard it is to find true love, even when it’s right in front of you.

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El sexo de los ángeles 7.5

eyelights: the various discussions on relationships and sexuality. the natural beauty of the main cast.
eyesores: the tattoos. the casual drug use.

‘El sexo de los ángeles’ is a 2012 Spanish film about Bruno and Carla, a young couple whose long-term relationship is put in jeopardy when he meets a flirtatious b-boy named Rai and unexpectedly falls for him. Obsessed, and incapable of being discrete about his affair, his actions will lead Carla to eventually surprise the pair together. How can Bruno and Carla’s relationship ever recover?

I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch this film. I was hoping for something sexy, but my only knowledge of the film was the DVD box art and its short description – and it had been months since I’d read it. Frankly, all I remembered is that there was a cute girl and two guys. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised with some aspects of ‘El sexo de los ángeles’.

Set in Barcelona, the film focuses on twenty-something college students: Bruno and Carla, Rai and his friends, Carla’s colleagues at the student paper, everyone is in that age group. The only exception is Carla’s mom, who has only a minor presence on screen. The energy of these characters was very different from what we’re used to in North America, which is still very heterocentric.

I enjoyed seeing the openness that these young adults had with respect to sexuality: it simply doesn’t seem to factor in when choosing  friends or partners. Rai, for instance, talks about being neither gay or straight; he claims to be “all sexual”. And if anyone is shocked with Bruno and Rai’s affair it’s only because he’s cheating on Carla – his sexuality doesn’t even come into question.

This brought a couple of thoughts to my mind. For starters, Spain is reputed for its machismo, so I wondered how a movie like this played back home. Have mores changed enough that this can be mainstream? Secondly, it continued to paint the portrait of a generational shift taking place in the last decade, that young people today are much more polysexual than ever before.

The plot of ‘El sexo de los ángeles’ is fairly run-of-the-mill, falling right in the middle with the many love affair films that are out there, but (aside from the affair taking place between two men) it adds interesting discussions about open relationships, about what being a partner is. It also discusses truthfulness in relationships, about keeping secrets from one’s partner.

There’s a mildly thought-provoking exchange between Carla and her mom, when Carla challenges her mother about hiding her use of sleeping pills to her own partner, Carla’s dad. It brings into question what is acceptable and what isn’t. Is hiding self-medication less bad than hiding an affair? If so, why? Both are not honest. Is it because an affair involves sex and/or intimacy?

Between these discussions, the film essentially asks the question of what makes a partnership. It doesn’t provide any answers, but it does suggest that it can vary from partnership to partnership, depending on what the rules are. For instance, Carla eventually allows Bruno to return to her – and continue his affair. There is even a question of a love triangle between the three.

And that’s the principle draw of ‘El sexo de los ángeles’. The performances are rock solid, as is the production and direction, but the script’s surprising challenge of the status quo is what sets it apart. Sure, it has its share of clichéd melodrama and turns of events, but just the fact that it raises questions in a thoughtful manner is enough to warrant a viewing.

There’s the sex, too, of course, which can be pretty hot at times (I particularly enjoyed Bruno and Carla’s morning tryst). It obviously helps that this is a trio of pretty young things, because they’re nice to look at (is that why it’s titled “Sex of the Angels”?). Plus which you get a variety of sexy combinations – enough to titillate a relatively wide palette of people.

Is it enough for repeat viewings, however? I’m not so sure…

Story: 7.5
Acting: 7.5
Production: 7.5

Nudity: 5.0
Sexiness: 6.0
Explicitness: 4.0

Date of viewing: June 21, 2014

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