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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

El Crimen Perfecto (review)

What if they gave a black comedy and nobody laughed? See, it’s ironic, this “perfect crime” nonsense, cuz nothing goes right and the characters are all perfect losers whom, it is hoped, we will laugh at cuz they’re such dorks. There’s Rafael (Guillermo Toledo), see, a salesman at a Spanish department store. Except we don’t realize that’s what he’s up to when we first meet him, when he’s talking right at the camera about ambition and going after what you want and being really aggressive and you gotta figure he’s a drug dealer or a mobster or something when really he’s just selling fur coats to insecure overweight middle-aged ladies while also screwing all the pretty salesgirls in the dressing rooms. And it’s “funny,” see, that he has all these grand dreams, like someday ascending to floor-manager rank, that are such pathetic ambitions, so that when the movie finally gets started and he finally commits an accidental murder that should be good for his “career,” you just wanna sigh and say, Yeah, so what? The body disappears and another department-store loser indulges in some emotional blackmail to get what she wants from Rafael but you know, just cuz a movie has subtitles doesn’t make it deep or meaningful or even worth your time. Unless, maybe, you’ll looking to practice your street Spanish. Cuz there’s definitely words here they don’t teach you in high school.


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MPAA: not rated

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

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