Simply awful adaptation of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel gets points only for its unintentional humor; otherwise, Mike Newell’s Love in the Time of Cholera is a chore to sit through and an insult to most.
Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem) falls in love with Fermina (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), has his heart broken, and devotes his life to sleeping with as many women as possible in order to heal the pain. No, really – that’s the plot.
There’s a lot of nudity along the way, which helps, but we basically sit through meaningless tryst after meaningless tryst as a depressed Florentino slogs through life.
Yet somehow the film is rarely boring for its 140-minute length; it’s always nice to see a ridiculously out-of-place, cigar-chomping John Leguizamo turn up as Fermina’s dad, or when the worst old-age makeup in recent memory is given gratuitous close-up after gratuitous close-up.
And although Bardem is awful here and horribly, horribly miscast, I got some pleasure seeing No Country for Old Men‘s Anton Chigurh as a romantic lead.
He also looks, acts, and sounds nothing like the actor that plays the young Florentino – doubly head-scratching when the same actress plays Fermina throughout.
I don’t know how seriously Marquez’s novel could be taken with that plot, but they didn’t even try here; while the result is watchable, almost everything feels wrong.
Antonio Pinto’s original score is lovely, though, with some songs by Shakira.
New rule: nothing good can come from a movie with a gastrointestinal disease in the title.