8 Years ***
Starring: Miguel Diosdado, Carlos Mestanza, Sergio Momo, Isabel Torro
Director: JD Alcazar
Eight years ago, Jose (Diosdado) and David (Mestanza) met on the island of La Palma – the westernmost isle in the Canaries. They fell in love and were together for seven years, but they have now been split for the last ten months. In an attempt to get back together, they both return with their friends on a joint holiday, in an attempt to rekindle what they feel they have lost. But over the course of their week on the island together, their numerous experiences with locals and strangers makes them question whether they should return to their relationship, or if it genuinely is best left in the past.
A colourful, loud and vibrant film, the pair travel all over the island on their vacation, showing off this beautiful holiday spot. They party hard, dine with friends, meet a diverse collection of big characters and find themselves in scrapes a-plenty. Whether it’s being “married” by a drag queen (Torro) in a dive bar, chasing local car thieves or falling into a drug-fuelled orgy with a dealer (Momo) and his friends, the joy in this film comes from its array of fun and effervescent supporting players.
Jose and David are fun too, ending their first night in police cells after running round the town stark naked. What’s less fun is their constant brow-beating about their relationship. Really, this would have been a far more enjoyable movie if it were about a couple falling in love again, rather than going in the opposite direction. The juxtaposition of this negativity against such a lively backdrop is clearly intended to be the serious core of an otherwise frivolous movie, but – for me – that didn’t work as much as it perhaps it should.
A living, breathing, partying, singing, drinking and screaming postcard for the Canary Islands, this is a fun film brimming with glorious characters. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t just embrace being a feel-good movie with both hands!
UK Release: Out now to watch on VOD on Dekkoo, released by TLA Releasing