The Other Side Of The Bed is a raucous and sexy romantic comedy with a musical twist. The film tells the story of two couples, along with a collection of their friends and co-workers, whose switching back and forth between lovers leads to lies and heartache-and lots of song and dance.
eyelights: the original concept. the beautiful women. the sexy bits. the creative musical numbers.
eyesores: the characters’ infidelity. the characters’ archaic views. the songs.
“The problem with this country is that people don’t fuck enough.”
You know what there isn’t enough of? Spanish musical comedies about infidelity, that’s what!
I know, I know… it’s such a strange concept. But that’s exactly what director Emilio Martínez Lázaro went for in ‘El otro lado de la cama’.
And, you know what? It actually works. Forget the morality, the archaic gender views, the contrivances for a second: This is a musical comedy about infidelity for crissakes! It takes dated concepts (the musical is nearly as old as the talkie, and sex comedies are at least 50 years old) and modernizes them by mashing them together.
Yes, the songs aren’t up to snuff, but the subjects were original, as were the choreographies, which were imperfect but sometimes inspired (ex: when Javier wanders about wondering what he’ll do about his affair and goes to the gym, there are girls in black tennis dresses dancing in the background and he makes music by running the taps).
And the humour is pure sex comedy stuff, sometimes à la ‘Three’s Company’ – but more subtle. Look at this: Javier and Paula are having an affair, so Paula dumps Pedro, Javier’s best friend – who is tortured by the break-up. Meanwhile, Javier doesn’t find the courage to tell Sonia, his gf and Paula’s best friend – so Paula is upset and considers telling her.
Then Sonia, not even knowing about the affair, seduces Pedro.
And that’s nothing: Pedro is following Paula around and Javier sees him – and tries to avoid being found out. But he doesn’t know that Pedro hires a crazy private investigator (the guy is convinced that JFK committed suicide, and published a book “proving” it!). And Javier borrows the country home of an old flame for a romantic getaway with Paula.
On top of that, other characters also pepper the pot, like Javier and Pedro’s taxi driver friend, a proponent of sleeping with any woman one can get, but who falls apart when his girlfriend leaves him for his friend. Or Pilar, the colleague that Javier sets Pedro up with, a sweetheart who falls immediately for the sad sack, but who doesn’t get the message.
But.. ahem… that’s nothing that singing and dancing won’t fix, right?
‘El otro lado de la cama’ is a lot of fun, and it’s a bit sexy too (there are some pretty steamy scenes between the characters), but it seems to lose momentum towards the end. Combined with the characters’ dishonesty and their views of gender roles, I became a little bit disinterested over time. But, as far as musicals go, it’s a memorable one.
I actually look forward to seeing its sequel.
Because, clearly, you can never have too many Spanish musical comedies about infidelity!
Date of viewing: March 6, 2016