A couple of films back, I got around to my first ever Whit Stillman experience, with his much lauded debut feature Metropolitan. A comedy centring around the haute couture bourgeoisie of up state New York, it was a despicably insular and satirical film mimicking the preppy social class from within. I enjoyed it immensely.
Gallivanting off to a wood cabin in in Denmark for a ridiculously brief, two day summer holiday, friend Mads Kjeldgaard and I conducted another of our Filmklubben special screenings with Whit Stillman’s second feature. On a bigger budget than his first, Barcelona is more exoteric too, delving into the lives of two home-proud Americans, Fred & Ted (played by Stillman regulars Taylor Nichols and Chris Eigemann) living in the hedonistic paradigm of Barcelona in the late eighties. Scoring chicks, whilst rekindling their cousinly relationship, it’s a comedy of manners which wears it’s Woody Allen influence on it’s corduroy sleeve, with once-sprightly young filmmaker Wes Anderson no doubt sitting in the movie hall taking notes.
With a fabulous Catalonian score, beautiful setting and that famously astute Stillman dialogue, Barcelona is a pleasant fish out of the water comedy. Probably grilled with lemon and paprika. You know, ‘cos it’s Spain.
Here’s an audio review. Less critical, a bit more jovial.