Woman goes to Spain. Woman brings her friend to Spain. Women meet man. Man propositions women. Women fly off with man. And you can guess the rest… Or can you?
One of the many good things about Woody Allen’s 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona is its ability to take interesting turns that feel less like “plot twists” and more like “plot spirals.” It’s a story that begins with one person’s sexual interest in another—or more to the point: two others—then grows and spreads into something different… while never losing focus of its center.
Allen’s film centers around the conventional Vicky, the unconventional desires of Cristina, and the artist Juan Antonio, who becomes a point of infatuation and/or love for them both. Added into the mix is Penélope Cruz’s volatile and passionate María Elena, who is Juan Antonio’s ex-wife and forever-romance.
What follows is an intricate but somehow very organic and easy to follow tale of sensuality, inspiration, disappointment, exploration, hurt, jealously, confusion, realization, intimacy, and isolation. And we’re left with several characters who are all walking different paths, yet each of those paths seem to be circling a (wait for it): strange love.