As with 20 CENTIMETERS, the spirit of Pedro Almodóvar hangs
  over
QUEENS (REINAS),  a comedy set on the eve of legalized gay
  marriage in Spain. Why do I say this? Well, director Manuel
  Gómez Pereira has cast the film with several veterans of Almodóvar's
  films, including Marisa Paredes, Carmen Maura, Veronica Forqué
  and Lluís Homar, to mention a few. In addition, Gómez Pereira (who
  collaborated on the screenplay with Yolanda García Serrano and
  Joaquín Oristrell, the writer-director of the 2005 NewFest entry
 
 UNCONSCIOUS/INCONSCIENTES) makes sly references to his
  obvious forbearer via some witty dialogue and bright colors in the design.

          The plot, such as it is, revolves around the plans of three gay male
  couples and their mothers who take center stage. Reyes (Paredes) is
  an egotistical film star who is more upset that her son has taken up with
  the son of her gardener (Homer) than that he is gay. Ofelia (Betiana Blum)
  has arrived from Argentina not only with her dog but with enough luggage
  for a year's stay (which should be a red flag for her son). Her presence
  and that of the dog put a strain on the relationship of her son (Daniel
  Hendler) and his lover Miguel (Unax Ugalde). Magda (Maura) is the
  owner of the hotel where a massive reception is to occur, but she's
  more interested in quelling a possible strike by the hotel workers. Helena
  (Mercedes Sampietro) is a judge opposed to the idea of gay marriage
  who is being pressured to preside at the ceremony. And lastly, there's
  Nuria (Forqué), a promiscuous woman who comes to threaten her son's
  union with an indiscretion.

          The film's storylines veer from sitcom to soap opera and are
  serviceable as a showcase for the five glorious actresses -- all of whom
  are over 50. The supporting cast is adequate and some of the "twists"
  are telegraphed by the writing, but
QUEENS was made with so much
  verve and skill that one can overlook the flaws and enjoy it.


                                            Rating:        B +
©  2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
Queens (Reinas)