Published Jun 01, 2004Just as there is the international language of love, there are also the international languages of jealousy, insecurity and meddling in business one doesn't belong in. It is these universal truths that sew together the fabric of this movie. Filmed in Spanish and translated through occasionally misspelled subtitles, My Mother Likes Women doesn't spend a lot of time on setting up its premise.
It's the tale of one family primarily three sisters and their pianist mother (a role skilfully embraced by Rosa Maria Sarda) and within four minutes from the opening we learn that mother's got a new lover a younger woman! The plot is ultimately about coping and accepting but it chooses (much to the audience's delight, and sometimes squirm in your seat discomfort) to take the long road in getting there. Because you see, while the world is paved with a million good intentions, the sisters are not only uncomfortable with their mother's newfound lesbianism but also worried that she might be being swindled for her money by her new squeeze. Their conspiratorial effort to break the pair up ends with disastrous consequences and soon the traitorous trio are learning more about love, trust and themselves than they ever imagined.
My Mother Likes Women is surprisingly endearing, mostly because it doesn't tiptoe around the intimate issues. It's also a smartly scripted movie that not only invokes laughter at all the correct moments but actually inspires the audience to have compassion for the characters the mother and her displaced Czech lover Eliska (Eliska Sorova) who seem hopelessly entangled in everyone's game but their own, and daughter Elvira (Leonor Watling), a neurotic and terribly conflicted aspiring writer who has the painful to watch habit of jinxing her own life. The performances are top notch and writer/directors Ines Paris and Daniela Fejerman are wise enough in their execution of the screenplay to make you question whether the daughters' worst suspicions about their mother's foreign lover might be both true and justified.
While this picture definitely falls into the "chick flick" category, it is not your typical vapid fare; the directors aspired to make a film about today's changing "traditional social and sexual modes" and by packing it with characters that genuinely evolve (and mature) throughout the 93-minute running time, they succeed admirably. (Mongrel Media)