Sorry for the dual titles. The film is a Mexican/American film and no two sites seem to agree on which country deserves the title, so I put down both.
In any case, hey, a romantic comedy not subjected to the confines of the Hallmark and Lifetime channels! Well… I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am a sucker for rom-coms. I practically grew up on them because my mother thought it best that I turn in my man-card early, and as a result, some of my favorite movies are rom-coms. LOVE ACTUALLY (2003), SERENDIPITY (2001), NOTTING HILL (1999), JUST LIKE HEAVEN (2005), IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934), you name it, I probably like it. But due to that soft spot, I find myself a little more critical of them because far too many of them get melodramatic and recycled.
And… yeah, this one doesn’t look to be too different. From what I can gather from the trailer, the story is about this Mexican woman. She’s a doctor, she’s focused, and has for whatever reason given up on love. Well, one of her family members is getting married and… again, for whatever reason, she has to bring a date… because women have to feel ashamed of going to social gatherings solo. Anyway, she finds a co-worker to ask and then while there, she encounters an ex, who is suave and a great guy, causing a love-triangle type deal. Um… I don’t know about the rest of you, but the Twilight franchise killed any chance of me enjoying a “love-triangle” in my romances. I don’t think there’s anything new or fresh that anyone can add to this plotline. But damage done, no choice but to see how it plays out. To it’s credit, it looks more enjoyable than Twilight. Of course, not a high bar to surpass.
Let’s take a look at the cast. Starring is Karla Souza, known for TV show HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER and a bunch of Mexican films. In support, we have Ben O’Toole, known for HACKSAW RIDGE (2016) and THE WATER DIVINER (2014). Finally, we have José María Yazpik, known for BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (2008) and a bunch of Mexican films.
Now for the crew. Writing and directing is Catalina Aguilar Mastretta, known for THE HOURS WITH YOU (2015). Finally, composing the music is Victor Hernandez Stumpfhouser, reuniting with Mastretta from THE HOURS WITH YOU.
Overall, it looks harmless and enjoyable enough, and I may like it in the end, but I’m expecting a jamboree of clichés and stupid character choices. Well, bottoms up, kiddies.
This is my honest opinion of: EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY or TODOS QUEREMOS A ALGUIEN
Clara (Karla Souza) is a doctor who’s given up on love. She stays focused on her work and prefers to just sleep with guys, not love them. But her parents, after forty years of being together, have finally decided to get married and Clara needs to bring a date for the wedding. She asks her co-worker, Asher (Ben O’Toole), to be her date. He’s funny and charming enough, the two constantly exchanging playful ball-busting quips. But everything comes to a screeching halt when a shadow from Clara’s past shows up; her ex, near-husband, Daniel (José María Yazpik). Soon, Clara finds her herself in a triangle, falling hard for both men; Daniel, her first great love whom she hasn’t forgotten her feelings for, and Asher, the sweet and lovable Australian.
I have… so… many… problems with this movie. AND YET!!! I still kinda like it! Damn it, Mom! Don’t I deserve to hate chick flicks like a regular man in 2017?!
Alright, so let me get right into my problems… I hate this love triangle. If you want me to be invested in a triangle like this, the key ingredient is to make every side relatable. In this case, we need Clara to be likable and for us to understand why she’s fallen for two great guys, and we need that even split that both guys are suitable for her to date. In that respect, watching a movie like this should almost be like watching a noir film; you’re supposed to be deducing and guessing who she’s going to pick the entire time.
But… let’s start with the two men she’s in love with, specifically Daniel. I DO NOT LIKE DANIEL!!! Chock this up to “team Asher” if you have to, but really look at this guy. He’s apparently been in L.A. for a couple months and has told no one. Fine, that’s his prerogative. He doesn’t owe the family of his ex-fiancé the information of his whereabouts since he disappeared eight damn years ago. So then explain how he feels he has the right to crash his ex-fiancés parents’ wedding. Reminder: THE MAN WASN’T INVITED!!! This is creepy-ass behavior. Especially since he’s barely there for the parents and more for Clara. Sure, she’s uncomfortable with him being there at first, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize that she still has feelings for him. He literally doesn’t have to do anything to vie for her affection other than enter her field of vision and pour proverbial sugar in her ear. Did I also mention he’s a disrespectful shit? I don’t care if they really were married and had kids, real men don’t show a lack of respect toward a woman’s new relationship, especially if she’s happy in it. He doesn’t care about her happiness, he doesn’t care about Asher’s feelings, he just wants her for himself.
Asher on the other hand is pretty self-sacrificing. He’ll drop everything he’s doing and drive to Mexico just because she called and asked him to. He’s legitimately funny, smart, witty, and considerate. There’s this scene where she’s drunk and horny, practically begging him to take advantage of her, but he refuses. He puts her in his bed and he sleeps on the couch. That’s a class act right there.
Hell, if you really wanted to look into it, Asher is the only character in this triangle worth caring about. Not even Clara. Why? Because she’s pretty much jerking Asher around. She even mentions that she likes him and wants to give their relationship a real shot. That sure was a quick turnaround for this woman, starting off hating the concept of being in love and dropping that notion barely in the first half hour of the movie, but that’s beside the point. But her second quality time with Daniel has them reminiscing about their relationship and even has sex with him. So much for wanting to give that relationship a fair shot. And even when he discovers that she is jerking him around, he still finds room to compliment – admittedly, backhanded – this woman, even though she has done very little, if anything, to earn it.
By this point, I bet some of you have figured that I don’t like this movie and already know what I’m going to rate it. Well, let me remind you that I did happen to say that I still kind of liked this movie. Even after that long-ass rant, I still find myself unable to say that I hate it. Why?
One reason is that Souza is actually a wonderful actress. She is very expressive and funny when it calls her to be and pulls off the more dramatic stuff as well. Sure, I may not always like the character she plays, but she has enough charm and likability to keep me invested in the outcome of her story, despite knowing how it would end from a mile away. Plus, she does have great chemistry with both Yazpik and O’Toole, so there’s never a boring scene. I also enjoy her interactions with the side characters, like her family and her patients. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind seeing her in another movie. But it’s likely it’d be a Mexican film and those are somewhat hard to come by in my neighborhood. And when the movie isn’t focusing on the romance triangle, it’s a very well-written. When the movie just needs to let these characters be themselves in a social setting, it’s endearing and funny enough to see the film through. I know that’s not a lot of positives, but this is a consistent positive and that works enough for me.
So is it a good movie? Eh, objectively, I’m going to say it’s not, but it’s certainly above average. Who knows? Maybe I’m just bias toward rom-coms. I still like the movie despite my huge issues within the details of its premise and would totally be open to seeing it again. If you’re looking for a date movie, yeah, I could recommend this one. Not the best the genre has to offer, but it’s leagues better than the worst. Otherwise, it’s better as a rental. It’s worth checking out at some point and isn’t a waste of time, but only barely manages not to be.
My honest rating for EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY or TODOS QUEREMOS A ALGUIEN: a strong 3/5