The second film from writer/director Whit Stillman, Barcelona is a smart, urbane comedy of manners set in Spain at the tail end of the Cold War. Taylor Nichols stars as Ted, an American salesman living in Barcelona. Out of the blue, he is visited by his acidic cousin Fred (Chris Eigeman), a U.S. Navy officer sent abroad to work damage control on rising anti-American sentiment. The textbook "Ugly American," Fred travels through the city in full military regalia, impervious to the constant taunts of "Fascist!" Like the similarly self-absorbed Ted, who has become involved with political activist Monsterrat (Tushka Bergen), Fred also finds romance, with a party girl played by Mira Sorvino. A brittle fish-out-of-water comedy, Barcelona is literate and sophisticated, a knowing essay on cultural identity and perception. … More
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Critic Reviews for Barcelona
An exquisitely composed yet fiercely combative satire (set in the eighties) of European mores as seen through the eyes of two young exemplars of the American establishment.
This is fairly amusing stuff-brittle, fresh, and impudent - if you can stomach all the upscale arrogance.
A remarkable find: The film doesn't stop at getting your attention, it rewards it.
It appears at first to be about the casual lives of young men trying to launch their careers, but eventually ... it reveals darker depths and meanings.
This film is the distillation of an intriguing blend of romantic comedy, satire, drama, and philosophy.
Oozes affection for its subjects, and that carries it through even the weaker character moments and the more jarring shifts of narrative and tone.
The unsympathetic characters and their slight adventure story was never compelling.
Darker and more acidic than Stillman's previous outing, this comedy, about two Americans at the end of the Cold War, could be described as Metropolitan meets Where the Boys Are meets The Year of Living Dangerously.
I recommend Barcelona on the proviso that you see [Stillman's] other two films first.
A very funny cross-cultural film about some idiosyncratic people who talk about what's on their minds.
The script and acting is excellent, supplying the little-known actors with some truly interesting and some very classic dialogue.
Just clever enough to get by on its charm, but Stillman really needs to stop wallowing in his own cleverness and start telling stories.
This isn't for everyone, to be sure, but those who enjoy literate, witty movies over shoot-'em-up, blow-'em-up fare should find much to savor.
Audience Reviews for Barcelona
Whit Stillman is like Woody Allen; if Woody Allen refused to make a film a year and really concentrated on saying something new with each film his makes. Don't get me wrong, I love Woody Allen but Whit Stillman has a handle over his craft that Allen can't seem to pin down. Stillman, like Allen, is all about social observation- delivering insights (and humor) into society through dialogue and situations "Barcelona" is a much larger step up from "Metropolitan" in terms of style, mood and execution. The film is darker and more confident. This helps the subtext remain pointed and mature and not as overly readable like in his previous feature. Stillman has this easy way of enveloping you into his films and "Barcelona" is a lovely yet acidic look into international social relations.More
It's a shame that Stillman makes so few films. His talky feasts have attracted imitators and launched stardoms but films like this prove his originality.More
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