VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
Woody Allen, 2008
Two friends are looking for answers in Spain.
Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are visiting Barcelona. Vicky is engaged with Doug (Chris Messina) while Cristina hopes to fall in love with a sensual Spaniard. That’s Juan Antonio (c), a local artist who recently separated from Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz).
Juan Antonio is offering them to follow him to Oviedo.
I’ll show you around the city, and we’ll eat well. We’ll drink good wine. We’ll make love.
He will seduce both of them, one after another. Vicky is the first to give up her principles. Cristina will then play the missing piece in Juan Antonio’s ménage à trois until Maria Elena threatens to kill herself.
Vicky and Cristina go back to the States. Vicky tries to enjoy every minute of her marriage. Cristina on her end keeps looking for the love of her life.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is about missed opportunities.
Vicky and Cristina are one single woman. They seem to be the complete opposite. Vicky is cerebral, honest and also very hypocritical. Cristina is much lighter, adventurous and naïve. They have a different conception of love. Yet they complete each other. When Vicky lies, Cristina gets sick. They are friends for a reason : they represent women’s complexity. Both of them are tortured and unsatisfied – at different levels. Cristina is always looking for what she can’t obtain. Vicky has what she wants and is completely bored of it – even if she denies it.
Juan Antonio is attracting to them because he represents the perfect man : straightforward, deep, intense…
Why not? Life is short. Life is dull. Life is full of pain. And this is a chance for something special.
And… he’s not free.
Vicky sees him as a threat which can jeopardize her couple. She could lose everything she tried to build because of this man. He’s the temptation. He’s the danger she should avoid. She knows the limits she should not flirt with if she wants to keep her respectability. But she wants Juan Antonio so bad.
Cristina sees him as an anti conformist. He’s an adventure. She believes life is made of discoveries and Juan Antonio is the promise of a great journey. She wants to try everything and he is everything.
During this trip to Barcelona, they will have a chance to test their limits regarding loyalty and desire. They experiment the Spanish version of love.
Maria Elena used to say that only unfulfilled love can be romantic.
How far are they ready to go?
Vicky won’t be able to cheat on Doug for very long. Instead she will quickly shove her head in the sand again. That’s what she does best. She’s good at pretending everything is okay. She refused to believe in passion, unlike Cristina. Now that she experienced it, and enjoyed it, she will convince herself it was just her imagination. This experience was not reality. It could not be reality. Reality is not fun or carefree.
Cristina does the same. She plays the game at first. Then she quickly gets tired of sharing her man with another woman. She wants to be the One. This relationship is full of the drama she craves but the only problem is, she’s not at the center. This is why she loses interest in Juan Antonio.
The story ends as a missed opportunity because the two women got closer to their ultimate fantasy, they even experienced it but they haven’t learnt a thing. They are both back to their initial situation, without feeling any happier. This romance was useless. Cristina still doesn’t know what she wants. Vicky will live with a secret her whole life. They went to Spain to tilt at windmills.
What are we looking for really? What are we ready to learn about ourselves? What’s the point in traveling that far, without moving?
This publication reflects the views only of the author.