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"VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA"
(2008) (Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Minor Heavy Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate Moderate Heavy Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two American friends with different views on love and adventure end up falling for the same painter while spending the summer in Barcelona.
PLOT:
Americans Vicky (REBECCA HALL) and Cristina (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) have been friends since college, but they couldn't be more different. While Vicky longs for an ordered life and is engaged to businessman Doug (CHRIS MESSINA), Cristina is only certain of what she doesn't want, and that's a conventional life. Both are spending the summer in Barcelona staying with Judy (PATRICIA CLARKSON) and Mark Nash (KEVIN DUNN) who take them to an art gallery where they spot local painter JosÚ Antonio (JAVIER BARDEM).

Word is that his then-wife tried to kill him, a tidbit that draws Cristina's interest, particularly when they spot him in a restaurant later that night. The attraction is mutual, as the painter introduces himself to the two friends, offering them a weekend trip of wine drinking and love making.

Vicky is appalled at the blunt approach, but that only makes him even more enticing to Cristina who convinces her friend to tag along for the weekend jaunt. But she ends up getting food poisoning before they consummate the act, thus forcing Vicky to play tourist with JosÚ and eventually find him attractive. Influenced by wine, she sleeps with him, a development that leaves her confused about Doug who's arrived in Barcelona hoping to marry her there in a civil ceremony before a traditional wedding back home.

Cristina eventually ends up dating and then moving in with JosÚ, but that new relationship is threatened upon the return of his ex-wife, Maria Elena (PENELOPE CRUZ), who's just tried to kill herself. From that point on, Cristina tries to deal with her staying with them, all as Vicky tries to deal with her feelings toward him as well.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or director Woody Allen, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic material involving sexuality, and smoking.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • REBECCA HALL plays a young woman spending the summer in Barcelona with her friend. Unlike Cristina, she longs to live a conventional life and is engaged to Doug. But after initially finding JosÚ's sexual forwardness repulsive, she ends up having a one-night fling with him (spurred on by too much wine). She then has conflicted feelings about her relationship with her fiancÚ, Doug, all while secretly longing for JosÚ. She drinks in many scenes and uses some profanity.
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON plays her more adventurous friend who's looking for something different in her life, and thus has no problem going off with JosÚ, a stranger, for the weekend with plans on having sex with him. That doesn't initially happen, but she later sleeps with and then moves in with him. She's initially jealous when the troubled Maria Elena later also moves in, but the three then end up in a love and sex triangle (meaning she sleeps with both JosÚ and Maria Elena). She drinks in many scenes and also uses some profanity.
  • JAVIER BARDEM plays a painter who's still in love with his ex-wife, but knows he can't live with her. Despite just meeting them, he makes sexual advances toward both Vicky and Cristina, and ends up bedding both, albeit separately. Later, he carries on a simultaneous sexual relationship with Vicky and Maria Elena. He drinks, smokes and uses some profanity.
  • PENELOPE CRUZ plays his troubled ex-wife who reenters his life when she tries to overdose. Initially suspicious of Vicky, she soon becomes her lover as well the same with JosÚ, but is obviously unhinged. She smokes, drinks, uses profanity, and tries to shoot JosÚ and/or Vicky in a moment of madness.
  • PATRICIA CLARKSON plays a woman who opens her home to Vicky and Cristina, but later admits that she loves but is no longer in love with her husband. At one point, Vicky catches her kissing another man. She drinks some.
  • CHRIS MESSINA plays Vicky's fiancÚ who wants to marry her early in a civil ceremony, unaware of her cheating on him with JosÚ. He drinks some and doesn't look highly on Cristina's lifestyle, especially with JosÚ and Maria Elena.
  • KEVIN DUNN plays Judy's husband who's unaware of her longing for someone else to love.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 6 "s" words, while other expletives and some colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, the beginnings of some sexual encounters (including a lesbian one) are seen, others occur off-screen or are partially blocked from our view, a threesome develops between two women and one man, and varying amounts of cleavage are viewed.

    A deranged woman starts shooting a gun at her ex-husband and wounds her lover (in the hand), while she and other characters have bad attitudes (including infidelity). Tense family material is present, as are many scenes of people drinking (and talk of being intoxicated), while various characters also smoke.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some camera movement, including some bouncy footage, in various scenes.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Vicky, Cristina, Judy and Mark have wine with lunch.
  • Vicky, Cristina, Judy, Mark and a young man have champagne on a sailboat.
  • Vicky and Cristina have wine, as do miscellaneous people.
  • People have champagne at an art reception, including Vicky, Cristina and Judy.
  • Vicky and Cristina have wine in a restaurant, as do others.
  • JosÚ introduces himself to Vicky and Cristina, inviting them for a weekend of wine drinking and love making.
  • Cristina, Vicky and JosÚ have wine, and there's a comment about JosÚ being drunk when he brought up the thought of them sleeping together. JosÚ then brings over more wine for all three of them and there are empty glasses on the table. Vicky makes a comment about being frank while intoxicated. When Cristina returns with him to his room, she jokes that she's there for just one drink (instead of sleeping with him, the real reason she's there). He then pours her some more wine.
  • About Cristina getting sick the night before, Vicky says that unlike her friend, she can hold her liquor.
  • JosÚ, his father and Cristina have cognac.
  • Vicky and JosÚ have wine with dinner, and the narrator comments on her having consumed a lot of that (she then has more).
  • Miscellaneous people have wine and/or champagne.
  • The narrator states that JosÚ took Cristina to a wine tasting.
  • JosÚ's friends have beer.
  • Doug, Vicky, Cristina and JosÚ have wine.
  • JosÚ has wine while Cristina has beer, as do his friends.
  • JosÚ receives a call that Maria Elena tried to kill herself via an overdose.
  • Maria Elena states that she wants some vodka.
  • JosÚ, Cristina and Maria Elena have wine.
  • Doug, Vicky and another couple have champagne.
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a party where Vicky carries an empty glass.
  • People drink at a party, including Doug, Vicky, Judy and Mark.
  • Vicky and JosÚ have wine.
  • Vicky and Cristina have wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • While making out with JosÚ, Cristina suddenly states, "I'm gonna be sick" (we later learn from food poisoning) and rushes off. The next thing we see is her in bed, so we don't know if she vomited or not.
  • Just as JosÚ and Vicky kiss, gunshots ring out, and they see that it's a deranged Maria Elena. JosÚ then struggles with her to disarm her, but several more shots go off, with one hitting and bloodying Vicky's hand.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • JosÚ introduces himself to Vicky and Cristina, inviting them for a weekend of wine drinking and love making.
  • While having dinner with JosÚ, Vicky receives a call from Doug, but lies to him that they have a bad connection. That lowers her inhibitions and she ends up sleeping with him.
  • Vicky cheats on Doug by sleeping with JosÚ (who went through with that despite knowing she's engaged).
  • When Cristina says she speaks Chinese and finds the language sexy sounding, Maria Elena states that it sounds like a drill to the head.
  • Maria Elena admits that she went through Cristina's luggage the first night she arrived.
  • Vicky catches sight of Judy kissing her husband's partner at a party. Judy later explains that while she loves her husband, she isn't in love with him.
  • Maria Elena is mad at Cristina when she has a change of heart about their three-way relationship with JosÚ.
  • Maria Elena shoves and whacks JosÚ during an argument.
  • Vicky lies to Doug about who was on the phone (it was JosÚ wanting her to meet him for another fling).
  • Just as JosÚ and Vicky kiss, gunshots ring out, and they see that it's a deranged Maria Elena. JosÚ then struggles with her to disarm her, but several more shots go off, with one hitting and bloodying Vicky's hand.
  • Vicky lies to Doug about how she was shot in the hand.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • JosÚ flies the two friends through a t-storm in a small plane, with Vicky being nervous in the backseat.
  • Just as JosÚ and Vicky kiss, gunshots ring out, and they see that it's a deranged Maria Elena. JosÚ then struggles with her to disarm her, but several more shots go off, with one hitting and bloodying Vicky's hand.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Just as JosÚ and Vicky kiss, gunshots ring out, and they see that it's a deranged Maria Elena. JosÚ then struggles with her to disarm her, but several more shots go off, with one hitting and bloodying Vicky's hand.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "His no bullsh*t approach," "It's bullsh*t," "You spoiled little sh*t," "Gone to sh*t," "I'm an idiot," "Are you crazy?" "One G*ddamn weekend," "Screwed up," "Shut up" and "That is so damn irresponsible."
  • Cristina wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • A miscellaneous person has a tattoo.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 "s" words (some in subtitles), 3 damns, 1 hell, 9 uses of "Oh my God," 6 of "Oh God," 3 of "God," 2 each of "G-damn," "Jesus" and "My God" and 1 use of "For Christ's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Cristina shows varying amounts of cleavage (sometimes a lot) in various outfits, some of them low-cut.
  • We see Doug in bed alone, shirtless.
  • Judy half-jokes that Vicky's life-choice conflicts will be resolved when Doug gets her (Vicky) pregnant.
  • JosÚ introduces himself to Vicky and Cristina, inviting them for a weekend of wine drinking and love making. Cristina is enticed, but Vicky is appalled, and asks who will be making love. He matter-of-factly replies he hopes it will be all three of them and she sarcastically comments on them flying off and making love to anyone who invites them. He replies that he finds both of them beautiful and desirable, adding that he finds Cristina's lips full and sexual. Other sexual talk follows, including the two women talking among themselves, with Vicky saying that he wants to get them in bed and Cristina saying she can sleep with him if she wants to.
  • The narrator states that the question of Cristina, Vicky and JosÚ sleeping together didn't come up again until the night when JosÚ was drunk. Vicky comments on him still being in love with his wife and just wanting meaningless sex. Other sexual talk follows, including Vicky stating she has a fiancÚ she makes love to, while Cristina tells him she'll go back to his room with him, but he'll have to seduce her. Entering his room, she states she's there to go to bed with him. After some small talk, she tells him that if he doesn't start undressing her, this encounter will turn into some kind of panel discussion. The two then passionately kiss (still clothed), but she suddenly realizes she's going to be sick (from food poisoning) and rushes off.
  • JosÚ's father tells him that he still has erotic dreams about Maria Elena.
  • JosÚ and Vicky passionately kiss and then drop down (in slow-motion) out of view of the camera, with sex implied.
  • There's talk of JosÚ not wanting to make love to anyone else but Maria Elena in his bedroom, but we then see a head and shoulders shot of him passionately kissing Cristina in bed, presumably while having sex. Both take turns on top and there's some nuzzling and heavy breathing, but no nudity or actual sexual movement.
  • As we see some prostitutes (in standard garb) on the street, the narrator states that JosÚ was friendly with all of them.
  • Vicky tells JosÚ that you don't make love to someone and never call unless you were disappointed. He reassures her that's not the case, while additional sexual talk follows.
  • We see Doug, shirtless, in bed with Vicky post-sex (she has the covers up over her chest). Doug is spent but enthused, saying she was like a whole different person and "you were so into it." She replies by asking isn't she always. He then comments on seeing how it wouldn't be difficult to maneuver Cristina into bed, unlike Vicky who was a bit more difficult, but worth the struggle.
  • We see a partial view (upper body) of JosÚ on top of Cristina on the floor, passionately kissing her. He's shirtless, and it seems as if we're supposed to believe she is as well, but we see that her breasts are barely covered (while their lower bodies are blocked by a foreground object). We later see them asleep in bed (view of bare backs, the rest are under the sheets), but after he gets up, she holds the sheet across her chest while sitting up, barely covering the ends of her breasts (we see part of the top/side of them, as well as cleavage).
  • We see Maria Elena in a robe that shows her bare shoulders and some of her bare legs.
  • Maria Elena shows cleavage and wears a short dress or something similar while painting.
  • Maria Elena tells Cristina she heard the latter and JosÚ locked in passion (having sex). The narrator then comments on Cristina giving permission for JosÚ and Maria Elena to have sex, but then wasn't sure (at least initially).
  • Cristina admits that she's gone to bed with Maria Elena, and we then see a flashback to them making out in a darkroom. Back in the present, Vicky then asks if she enjoyed it and Cristina says she did, and that she's since slept with JosÚ and enjoyed it very much. Doug then assumes that she's bisexual, but Cristina asks why use a label, adding that she's just herself.
  • Doug kisses on Vicky and has his hand on her hip while she's in a shirt and panties or small shorts, with sex implied.
  • We see that JosÚ, Cristina and Maria Elena have become three-way lovers, but Cristina eventually has a change of heart.
  • Cristina holds a book that shows a reclined, bare-breasted woman with a man near her.
  • We see Doug in his boxers while he's on the phone.
  • Vicky shows cleavage.
  • We see JosÚ close behind Vicky (both are clothed) and he says it's been a long time since they made love. She then says she's sure he thought about that when making love to Cristina and Maria Elena. That's followed by additional talk about making love. The two then passionately kiss, but sudden gunshots interrupt them.
  • SMOKING
  • JosÚ smokes at least 5 times (and also holds an unlit cigarette in another scene), Maria Elena smokes nearly as much, and some miscellaneous characters smoke in a few scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that JosÚ is divorced and that his wife tried to kill him.
  • JosÚ states that his ex-wife put a knife into him in the past.
  • Vicky cheats on Doug by sleeping with JosÚ (who went through with that despite knowing she's engaged).
  • JosÚ and Maria Elena bicker about their past.
  • Vicky catches sight of Judy kissing her husband's partner at a party. Judy later explains that while she loves her husband, she isn't in love with him.
  • Maria Elena shoves and whacks JosÚ during an argument.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • We hear that JosÚ is divorced and that his wife tried to kill him.
  • JosÚ's comment that the trick is to enjoy life.
  • JosÚ states that his father is angry at the world, and thus punishes it by not allowing anyone to read his poetry.
  • We hear that Cristina has an ulcer.
  • The comment that only unfulfilled love can be romantic.
  • JosÚ receives a call that Maria Elena tried to kill herself via an overdose.
  • We see that JosÚ, Cristina and Maria Elena have become three-way lovers, but Cristina eventually has a change of heart.
  • Cristina stating that she's only certain of what she doesn't want in life.
  • VIOLENCE
  • An old movie shows a man grabbing a woman and having his hand over her mouth.
  • Maria Elena shoves and whacks JosÚ during an argument.
  • Just as JosÚ and Vicky kiss, gunshots ring out, and they see that it's a deranged Maria Elena. JosÚ then struggles with her to disarm her, but several more shots go off, with one hitting and bloodying Vicky's hand.



  • Reviewed July 15, 2008 / Posted August 15, 2008

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