Granted, I haven’t seen every movie that Woody Allen ever made, but it’s quite possible that Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the most depressing Woody Allen move ever. I find it a bit reminiscent of Annie Hall, though not as funny.
The story revolves around two friends who spend a summer in Barcelona. Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is a free spirit who ends up having affairs with some emo artists. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is a girl of more conventional tastes who marries her convential American boyfriend but secretly wishes she was having an affair with an emo artist. Neither ends up very happy.
The whole thing is pretty predictable. It is obvious from the start that this is not the sort of movie where a girl can find happiness by marrying an up-and-coming young American businessman, and as for emo artists, anyone with any sense knows that nothing but disaster can come from chasing after them.
I want to give this movie its due. Some might say that any movie that features Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz, often wearing very little clothing, is ipso facto worth watching. Furthermore the writing is solid, the acting is good, and the story is interesting in much the same way that a train wreck is interesting. It’s just that the whole thing didn’t feel very entertaining, and I felt relieved when it was over.
Parents should be aware that although this movie is rated PG-13, it contains the sort of material that has caused many other movies to be rated R. In fact I have seen many R-rated movies that I would consider less problematic for children. I won’t try to guess the reasoning used by the MPAA rating board. Maybe they were just feeling generous that day.