27 December 2011


Written & Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo
Full credits at IMDb

Julio and Julia have done a bad thing: they've indulged in a drunken one-night stand even though Julia has a boyfriend. They'll spend the rest of Extraterrestrial, writer-director Nacho Vigalondo's sci-fi comedy of cuckolding—a cynical and screwball study of love and suspicion—trying to cover it up, trying to do it again, and finally trying to undo the damage and walk away. Following their tipsy tryst, the accidental lovers awaken to an abandoned Madrid and four mile-wide UFOs hovering above. (Yes, they slept through the evacuation.) The movie, though, stays confined to Earth, rarely leaving Julia's modernist apartment and its tangle of romantic jealousies, exacerbated by the aliens' presence and the isolation of the four main characters—including said boyfriend and Julia's lovelorn neighbor—who're among the few who've stayed behind.

Vigalondo uses genre as a way into romantic relationships. His debut, 2008's Timecrimes, was on its face a wacky time-travel puzzle that kept folding in on itself. But at heart, it was a story about a middle-aged man grappling with his marriage. Here, the presence of aliens is used to cover up infidelity, becoming the basis of lies used to foment mistrust and exacerbate romantic rivalries...

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