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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

Girl Gets Girl **

Starring: Jane Badler, Maria Botto, Paulina Gálvez, Celia Freijeiro, Karina Matas Piper, Adrián Lastra Director: Sonia Sebastián In the wake of Bridesmaids, a slew of female-led ensemble comedies have trickled their way to the screen. While there is definitely a market for films like this, their quality has never matched the original and Girl Gets Girl is no exception. This Spanish comedy, released on DVD and On Demand this week, explores the dynamic of a group of female friends, where their plethora of sexualities is posed as both the backdrop and the hinge for much of the comedy. Inés (Freijeiro) has been caught cheating once again. After a disastrous breakup, she decides to return from America to Spain, in an attempt to reconnect with her ex-girlfriend, whom she jilted, pregnant, at the altar. Since her departure, their friends rallied round to bring up the resultant child, but at a party to celebrate her first period ten years later, Inés unexpectedly arrives, bringing much carnage in her wake, pursued by yet another ex-girlfriend. With all the entrances, exits, pursuits and misunderstandings, this has all the makings of a classic farce. With a large cast, there are numerous long-running gags that put relationships at risk, futures in jeopardy and cause characters to re-examine their pasts. However, though all the elements are in place, what results is about as funny as a sleeping guinea pig. Most of the gags fall flat because the characters are completely undeveloped, leading to surface exaggerations that leave them nothing more than stiff and wooden stereotypes. In the early scenes of the film, little time is devoted to establishing who these characters are and as a result, you find yourself having to pedal really hard to keep up with who is who. The second scene is a lengthy flashback whose ramifications have bearings on the rest of the plot, but as you're yet to meet the characters it becomes nearly impossible to remember who did what and to whom when you are required to later. This could easily have been resolved simply by moving this scene back by five minutes. Common sense, right? Usually, a film like this can be saved by at least one or two stand-out performances within the ensemble. Unfortunately, there is no character or performer who managed to stumble ahead of the pack, with everyone dragged back by a script without any punchlines and a cast without any comic skill. Though some of the scenarios have laid the comic groundwork, they fail to deliver as the cast just seem to walk through their lines and gags, resulting in what feels more like a Mexican telenovela rather than a feature film from the land of Almadóvar. Despite all of this, the film does move at a fast pace and is definitely committed to being a genre piece. It's certainly not unwatchable, but it breaks no new ground whatsoever, feeling like it was made for the sake of it. This is entertainment, but only if you have nothing better to watch.

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