Synopsis: Javier and Pedro live happily with their new girlfriends, Marta and Raquel. Javier is about to marry Marta, but he and Pedro are unaware that Marta and Raquel are secretly in love. When the boys find out, they are all sent into a rollercoaster of hilarious situations and sexual confusion that puts their lives and options into question in this follow-up to the hit film The Other Side of the Bed.
eyelights: its alternate take on the original film’s concept. the humour.
eyesores: the less successful gags. the less successful musical numbers.
Wow. I really had fun watching this. Rarely do you find a sequel that’s better than its predecessor, but ‘Los 2 lados de la cama’ totally outshines ‘El otro lado de la cama‘: it takes the original film’s plot and spins it on its head, the humour is sharper, the contrivances fewer and the musical numbers are more sophisticated.
Taking place three years after the events of the original film, Emilio Martínez Lázaro’s 2005 musical sex comedy takes us to the eve of Javier’s wedding to his fiancé, Marta. Pedro is also with someone new, Raquel, a lounge singer. Both men are incredibly happy, but little do they know that their partners are cheating on them.
And thus begins ‘Los 2 lados de la cama’, with the women trying desperately to deal with Marta’s nuptials. Raquel finally convinces Marta to skip the wedding, telling her she’ll also break up with Pedro. But not before Pedro and Javier, heartbroken, become suspicious that the other is cheating with their respective partners.
And it gets more complicated:
Rafa is now with Pilar and she’s cheating on him with Carlos. But Rafa is clueless and, after discovering her journal, asks Carlos to trail her to find out who her lover is. Meanwhile, Pedro and Javier meet Carlota, a woman they bumped into the night before the wedding and both are interested in her and compete for her attention.
But she wants both of them. At once.
‘Los 2 lados de la cama’ is actually quite an amusing film. It’s full of misunderstandings, awkward situations and silly gags, and, unlike its predecessor, it mostly succeeds in getting the laughs (there’s one scene that just doesn’t, in which Javier stays at Pedro and Raquel’s and contrives to sleep in the same bed as them).
It’s quite funny. And this coming from someone who finds infidelity no laughing matter.
The musical numbers are also considerably better this time. Although the original had some creative bits in it, this time the scope of the numbers is greater and their execution is better. We’re not talking MGM musicals here (the actors aren’t trained for it), but there are some inspired moments and nice choreography along the way.
Not all the songs are excellent, but they are also much better than the other film’s. What I’ve found is that the numbers whose lyrics move the plot along, that have more exposition, are the weakest. Those that are more general in nature work best, likely because the lyrics came last; the music and melodies probably came first.
The cast is also very strong here – or, at least, Martínez Lázaro played to their strengths more. For instance, when they had to do musical numbers, those who couldn’t pull it off (based on the first film) didn’t have to do much here – or they were partnered with someone who could compensate – like María Esteve, who plays Pilar.
Wow… Esteve is simply amazing. She was the star attraction for me in the first one, and this picture totally cemented my appreciation of her talents. She’s not just beautiful, but also funny, and, boy, can she dance. There is no doubt in my mind that I will seek out any other film she’s in. With talent like that, who wouldn’t?
Ultimately, though, the thing I like best about this picture is that it breaks all the rules: the women are the ones cheating on the men, not vice versa, the men are neurotic, but understanding of the complexities of human hearts, and the pairings are more than just heterosexual ones. Yes, plural. It has a much more open-minded perspective.
Amazingly, ‘Los 2 lados de la cama’ is less sexy than its predecessor, and yet I enjoyed it more. It’s just a heck of a lot more fun, it’s funnier and it’s a stronger overall package. It’s quite possible that its impact depends on contrast with the original, but it can also be watched on its own. I would recommend seeing it either way.
Do we need more Spanish musical comedies about infidelity? I think two is plenty. But I’m really glad that these ones exist.
Date of viewing: March 26, 2015