by Greg Muskewitz
The additional title, or suggested translation given is (Made in Chile), clearly making out where the product came from, but not clueing the audience into the fact that it’s slang, like te quiero, for “I love you.”But in other matters, this generic summer vacation tale has four youthful delinquents setting up a pied-a-terre in an abandoned, dilapidated house, to help escape their own daily troubles and secretos. In no significant order: bad relations with an older sibling, a “disappeared” family member, drug abuse, and the topper — an absent, single mother (“I used to live in New York until the great divorce, the war between the North and the South. Guess who was the casualty?”) and a maid who has long mollycoddled the boy with sex. The movie is narrated (in English and Spanish) by the last-described, Samuel Moskowicz (Adrían Castilla, son of the director Sergio) — possibly a tribute to the movie’s producer, Segismundo Moskowicz? — often in an overdose of self-reflexivity, bolstered by the usage of a video camera, every movie’s helpful tool to further desecrate any perception of the form. It’s annoying, haphazard, lazy, scattered, skuzzy, unkempt, distracting. Much like the characters it films. Te Amo’s subjects and subject matter are all cliché, been there, done that — “the summer that changed all” — doused in an obstreperous presumptuousness that is just as abusive and exploitative to its audience as it is about its characters. Most of the actors, doubtfully professionals, manage to embrace the brassy and breezy nature of the hedonistic lifestyle, maintaining an involuntary charmlessness. The only exception is the chipmunk-faced, poofy-haired Daniela Ropert, whose performance inadvertently upstages the others, not just in her strong projection in front of the camera, her calm naturalness, but her character is also the only one to truly exhibit a wake-up call and subsequent arc.
"Another 'summer that changed all.'"
Written by Castilla the senior. With Tamara Acosta, Joshua Walker and Cristián Campos.[Not to be bothered with.]
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7586&reviewer=172
originally posted: 12/28/03 21:41:25