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Volume 34
Issue 39
 
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Comical Queens is fun farce about mothers and their Gay sons
Comical Queens is fun farce about mothers and their Gay sons
by Lorelei Quenzer - SGN A&E Writer

Queens

Directed by Manuel Gómez Pereira

Starring Betiana Blum,Verónica Forqué, Carmen Maura, Marisa Paredes, Mercedes Sampietro, Lluis Homar

Opens today at the Harvard Exit

If you just attended the Pedro Almodóvar retrospective at the Harvard Exit, you'll probably enjoy the Spanish film Reinas - or Queens, as it's being marketed in the States -if only to appreciate the fruit of Almodóvar's labor: the mainstreaming of the Gay-themed movie. Queens doesn't have the depth its ambiguous title implies, but it's a lot of fun, exploring the mother-Gay son cliché with fast-paced humor and warmth.

As a kitchen-sink farce, Queens shows every stereotype of mother-son pairing imaginable& except a healthy one. Taking a moral stance is Helena (Mercedes Sampietro), a reluctant judge who has just discovered she is to officiate the mass wedding that will unite the hundred or so Gay couples taking part in the landmark nuptials. There's every possibility that her disapproval may halt the proceedings, and Helena's poor son Hugo finds he must bear the brunt his mother's discomfort.

Helena's in-law-to-be is the sexpot Nuria (Verónica Forqué, Kika); we meet her as she travels to Madrid for the wedding. She seduces a married stranger on the train, calling her therapist afterwards to admit her relapse. It comes as no surprise that Nuria's son Narciso might also be a player. And the wealthy actress Reyes (Marisa Paredes, All About My Mother) is aghast that her boy is marrying her gardener's son, although she's not above making a between-the-classes play for the gardener (Lluis Homar, Bad Education) herself.

Meanwhile, at an upscale hotel niche-marketed to capture Gay dollars, workaholic Magda (Carmen Maura, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and the upcoming Volver) has a lot on her plate. Her son Miguel is marrying Oscar and her husband is applying long-distance pressure to manufacture the perfect event. Magda's lover, the hotel's chef, is plotting a kitchen walkout that would seriously put a damper on the reception, and her smothering in-law Ofelia (Argentinian actress Betiana Blum) has just arrived for the festivities. With her very nervous dog.

If it all sounds too complicated to fit into 100-odd minutes of movie, remember: this is meant to be a lightweight comedy. Directed by Manuel Gómez Pereira, who is known for his farces, there's no time, or inclination, to explore Nuria's addiction to sex, or whether Helena distrust of Gay marriages is more about her own divorce than her son's sexuality. And while Queens is very likeable, its message that everybody wants and deserves to be loved for who and what they are is more a case of "Duh!" than "Aha!" Take your date - or your partner - and enjoy the fun, just don't expect a statement about Gay marriage.

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