Ocho apellidos catalanes (2015)

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Movie Info

When Sevilian Rafa met Amaia, a Basque woman, he was so determined to win her over that he went to her small town pretending to be a Basque to get her attention, and they became a couple. After their breakup, Amaia is going out with a Catalan man named Pau, and her father, who had managed to adjust to her seeing an Andalusian, leaves Euskadi for the first time in his life to go find Rafa in Seville and get him to try to win Amaia back.

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Critic Reviews for Ocho apellidos catalanes

All Critics (10)

A sequel that is located well below the very popular original comedy. [Full review in Spanish]

Oct 4, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

This is one of those sequels that for security purposes, is affraid to adjust or change anything from the original formula. [Full review in Spanish]

May 13, 2016 | Full Review…

It escapes common places and puts it's endearing characters in cultural and sense of belonging battles. [Full review in Spanish]

May 12, 2016 | Full Review…

It may not be as fresh like its predecesor, but likable old characters and new faces make this an enjoyable film experience. [Full review in Spanish]

Feb 4, 2016 | Full Review…

Even if it's not as good as the first one, the film makes an excellent use of it' talented cast to make you laugh non stop. [Full review in Spanish]

Feb 4, 2016 | Full Review…

It's like a joke you've heard a million times yet it can still make you laugh if used correctly. [Full review in Spanish]

Jan 22, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ocho apellidos catalanes

I wonder how much of a surprise the success of the original Spanish Affair or, as it should be known, Ocho Apellidos Vascos was to those who made it and the company that distributed it. I mean, the film, at least according to this article in Variety (dated December 11th, 2015) was one of the highest-grossing Spanish films in that country's history. Knowing very little as I do about the media of Spain, part of me wonders if the original film was expected to be that successful or if it was something more like word of mouth gave it the legs to be one of the most successful Spanish films in their history. And the second biggest movie overall, at the time, behind Avatar. Sort of like an European version My Big Fat Greek Wedding which, if you weren't around at the time, was the runaway hit of 2002. I don't think anybody expected that movie to be as big as it was and to make as much money as it did. It made $369 million worldwide on a $5 million budget. Really. I doubt Ocho Apellidos Vascos made as much money as the aforementioned example, but it's the closest comparison point I can make. Having said that, whether the success was expected or not, you knew that there was gonna be a sequel considering how much money it made. And, to their credit, they didn't wait 14 years to release the sequel like My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. They needed to strike while the iron was hot here. The original movie was released in March 2014, this movie was released in November 2015. Less than two years in between movies. And, again, I get why they did it. The longer they wait, the less people actually want the sequel, what with every new release that, I'm sure, was released in between these two flicks. And it paid off because, much like the original, this film was massively successful. It's one of the five highest-grossing domestic films in Spain's history. And, again, I'm basing this on an article that'll be three years old this December. Having said all of that, however, is this a sequel that's worth your time if you're a fan of the original. I mean, I guess it's both a yes and a no. That's a bit of a bullshit answer, I know, but it really depends on what you're expecting out of this movie. For my money, even though I enjoyed my time the original despite not thinking it was actually a good movie, it's not really worth it. While the characters remain likable and the film still has that same light tone, there's honestly no real justification for this sequel other than, really, to make some more money off the name. Say what you will about the original, but at least it had a fresh and clever dynamic of focusing on the Basque vs Seville/Andalucia rivalry. This movie moves over into Catalan territory, but it has the same template of using the Catalan setting to delve into the rivalry between them and the rest of Spain as they fight for independence. This is a little more relevant to us, given Catalonia's recent struggles with gaining their independence and the Spanish government simply refusing to even listen to them, but it's still pretty much the same thing as the original. Rafa's buddies are still the same idiot nationalists that fear everything that might devalue Spain's great name, apparently. There's still the same culture clash as Koldo, Rafa and Mercedes adjust to a different society. It's all very repetitive and not nearly as entertaining as the original movie. Or, at least, it doesn't have as fresh a perspective as the original. Remember how I mentioned, in my review for the original movie, how I was hopeful that this movie would give me more of why Rafa and Amaia belong together, because the original movie didn't really do much for me in that regard. I find that they both did and didn't do a better job at making me see why these two were in love with each other. For the most part, they honestly really didn't do a great job of it. Rafa is told, by Koldo, that Amaia is marrying a Catalan painter, named Pau, and that he needs to put a stop to the wedding. What Koldo doesn't know, however, is that Rafa broke things off with Amaia when they got too serious between them. They were about to get married and he just broke things off. To spare Koldo, who has taken a great liking to Rafa, Amaia just made up that she broke up with him. Rafa, upon being told this news, decides to invite to himself to their wedding to see if he can win Amaia back. Which I get is what has to be done, given where the movie wants to go, but it just comes across like Rafa doesn't wanna see Amaia with anyone that isn't him. If that was the case, why fucking break up with her in the first place, you dumb fuck. I don't wanna say Rafa comes across like an asshole, but he's going out of his way to break up the engagement. And, honestly, while Pau is a bit pretentious, he's not actually an asshole. I'd understand if Pau was an asshole and Rafa felt he had to step in, but Pau is likable. Of course, Amaia herself isn't insanely happy being with Pau, but that's another issue entirely. So Rafa teams up with the wedding planner, who's been in love with Pau for 5 years, in order to break them up. There's nothing great about this concept, but it could have been decent with a proper script. While the new additions are welcome, Pau's grandma (whom he's convinced that Catalonia is now an independent state and he's hired people to act like it has), is criminally underused. She has some really fun scenes and then it's just like she disappears. It's not that you don't want to see these characters again, it's just that you wish they'd have a better script to work with, because this is the very definition of forgettable. And, really, worst of all, it's honestly kind of boring. The original movie, while not perfect, felt like it was making an attempt at throwing a lot of jokes your way. This doesn't do that and, honestly, feels like it's almost by design as opposed to anything else. I'm sure that wasn't the case, but there's so many moments when a scene is meant to end with a joke and you're like 'that's it, that's all there is to it?'. It just falls flat on its face so much more than it hits. It's a shame really, cause I really was expecting an improved sequel, by rom-com standards at least. Like I said, the casting remains as solid as ever, it's just the lazy and boring scripting that leaves a lot to be desired. As I mentioned earlier, don't assume that just because you were a fan of the original, that you'll like this. Some of you certainly will, but most of you you won't. The law of diminishing returns applies here more than any sequel I've seen in recent memory. Wouldn't recommend it, but it's still a watchable movie.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

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