Lucía y el sexo

Synopsis: From acclaimed Spanish director, Julio Medem (Lovers of the Arctic Circle), comes one of the sexiest and most provocative films of the year. Sex and Lucia is an intensely erotic, daring and tale of love and lust. After the loss of her boyfriend, Lucia (Paz Vega) escapes to a quiet Mediterranean island where she meets a new man and discovers the dark secrets of her past relationship. Audiences worldwide have embraced the film’s sexual explosiveness and passionate storytelling. Dramatic, challenging and deeply romantic, Sex and Lucia has garnered much critical acclaim for its sensual bravery.

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Lucía y el sexo 8.5

eyelights: Paz Vega. the performances. the plot. the storytelling. the sexy bits.
eyesores: its abstract ending.

“The first advantage is at the end of the story. It doesn’t finish, it falls in a hole. And the story starts again halfway.”

Lucía comes home after a hard day at the café to find that her depressed boyfriend isn’t home. She looks for him everywhere, but there’s no trace of Lorenzo. And then she gets a phone call. A terrible phone call. Distraught, she packs her bags and goes to visit the island that he’d always talked about, looking for solace.

‘Lucía y el sexo’ is a magical story of love, sex, grief and healing. It’s a two-part tale that follows Lucía in the present, but that concurrently also explores her past: how she and Lorenzo met, fell in love, and the impact that Elena, a girl he once had a tryst with, has on them – both in the past and in the present.

And it’s a story with a big hole in it.

Lorenzo is an author who is struggling to write the follow-up to his spectacular debut novel. When he discovers that he has a child, he is inspired to write again. But the story he writes is designed so that the book never ends – it loops all the way back to the middle. It falls into a hole. And ‘Lucía y el sexo’ does the same.

I’ve seen this movie a number of times, partly because it was recommended by a cinephile friend of mine, partly because it’s a really sexy film (as evidenced by the fact that there’s an R-rated version and an Unrated one), and I have yet to really grasp the significance of the hole, how it works, what triggers it, …etc.

It just seems very random to me, like it’s contrived, inexplicable, like magic. It’s pretty and uplifting because it makes everything better, giving the characters a fresh new start, but the logic of it escapes me completely. Am I missing something? Or is it missing something? Should I just accept it without question?

In any event, it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the film. The hole, though it matters in the end, is irrelevant for the first two hours of the picture. And it’s a terrific story, filled with all the highs and lows of human relationships, interesting characters and character dynamics and it adds a soupçon of mystery to boot.

There’s a freshness to the picture, despite its heavy themes, that makes it wholly enjoyable. Though all the characters are grieving their own losses in their own ways, that it’s juxtaposed with much lighter moments and the fact that the present segments are set on the beautiful, peaceful Balearic Islands, balances it out.

If anything, though, I was very much taken with Lucía, as incarnated by Paz Vega. I loved how bold and quirky she was: a fan of Lorenzo’s first book, she essentially invites herself into his life and completely rehauls it for the better. I loved those first moments when they playfully got to know each other in all their intimacy.

I really enjoyed how comfortable Vega/Lucía was with her body; there was a lack of self-consciousness, a freedom about her, that is very enticing. Watching her was pure bliss – especially given how naturally beautiful she is. Add to this all the lovemaking scenes, which were really sexy, and the picture didn’t want for eye candy.

I was far less taken with Lorenzo, partly because he’s so damned tortured and he makes such poor decisions: sex without a condom, letting a stranger move in with him, cheating on Lucía, running away from trouble instead of confronting it, being secretive and lying to Lucía, …etc. It made him far less likeable in contrast.

But Vega/Lucía is hardly the only appealing person in this: though one could argue that Lorenzo is also reasonably physically attractive, there is no doubt that Elena and Belén are beautiful and charming women in their own ways. And then there’s Carlos, the mysterious slab of hunkhood who lives on the island with Elena.

Still, it’s the dialogues between them that make the characters come to life, and ‘Lucía y el sexo’ crackles with terrific exchanges about love, lust and relationships. A lot of what the characters tell each other takes on a storytelling quality, and Lorenzo also embellishes the things he borrows for the writing of his novel.

Director Julio Medem also has a flair for storytelling, not just in the way that he alternates between past and present, revealing bits of both gradually and eventually merging the two, but also in the visual style of the piece. Aside for the aforementioned hole, it all comes together nicely, like one big beautiful journey.

‘Lucía y el sexo’ is a genuinely affecting film, a real treat for film buffs: its characters are intriguing, and often enticing, its dialogues are sharp and its story is well-crafted. It’s a lovely, sexy movie that I truly never tire of watching, though I’ve seen it countless times. If you haven’t yet seen it, get a hold of it rápido.

Let it carry you away.

Story: 8.5
Acting: 8.5
Production: 8.5

Nudity: 6.0
Sexiness: 7.0
Explicitness: 4.0

Date of viewing: March 1, 2017

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