Malos Hábitos (Bad Habits) Reviews
Or, to be less concise, the movie has all the mannerisms of an art movie, but lacks the content. With detailed shots of all kinds of delicacies, the film succeeds in making us hungry, and consecutively, the shallowness of its characters makes us equally hungry for a better script. The central fault of the film is that it all comes from above - the storylines are all cerebrally designed to focus on food. In an annoying meddle, the film combines an anorexic wife, a chubby daughter who hides sweets in kangaroo pouches, an adultering husband who loves to eat (various things) in bed, a nun who eats trash and another nun who revels in gluttony. Being defined by food, the characters are painfully two-dimensional, and the potential of the only interesting story (anorexia and family decay) is underdeveloped. Thus, when a riddle appears at one point (why the hell are drainage pipes leaking?), one instinctively knows that even this answer must be related to food. Indeed, it is.
To list more of script's faults, the film's constant tempo is definitely a problem. Bad Habits feels considerably longer than its hour and a half, and the viewer drowns in unremitting rain and bluish palette of the scenes. I felt a twang of pity for the person who had to edit that material in postproduction. Among other faults, I also have to mention the confusing and superfluous storyline about nun martyrdom; the sudden sickness of husband's mistress (an overt device for solving the riddle); and the general failure to produce an emotional impact (apart from a gruesome IV scene).
Still, acting and casting were well-handled and the anorexic mother made a very believable impression of having a mental disease. Cinematography should be praised as well, the film offers many interesting shots. However, the film ultimately fails as a whole. Not even the occassional spark of brilliance in the script (daughter's inventive use of medicine) can enliven the film enough to save it from its artificial script.