"a perfectly acted, artistically sexy and romantic film"
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is perhaps a new renovation for romantic comedies. The film has such an ambitious and artistic atmosphere to it. The screenplay, perfectly written, shows true lust and romance that appears at some point in our lives, in this case, Vicky and Cristina's.
Bardem does an amazing job playing the seductive artist, a man who appears very self-assured and apparently has no time to waste on games. He puts the cards on the table and lets others join in at their own discretion. He is smooth and very likable.. we can't help but looking at the subtlety of his maneuvers and somehow see that it all should be problem free. However, he does have a past, and he can't sever his ties to the very unstable ex-wife. Cruz proves to be the scene stealers, perhaps taking liberty with their native tongue and adding a truly foreign (and fresh) dimension to the screenplay.
While consistently interesting, some might find its quirks annoying. For one thing, a narrator intrudes on the story at regular intervals, as if needing to explain the plot and the characters. In a film with constant references to art, it reminds one of the various European features that present their stories only through dialog and acting.
It is quite a comeback for Allen, one that should be big and widely admired. Making the film in an exotic locale, with two very talented Spanish actors certainly helps Allen. Despite the well worn formula, Vicky, Christina, Barcelona still manages to be a truly enjoyable film with a handful of great moments. It might not be as dynamic as some of Allen's best, but I can recommend this film to those who don't usually enjoy Allen's films but still want a different take on his usual creations.