In Bed (En la cama) (2005) • Chile

The story arc gets an A+: At the beginning of the film, two strangers have already met and are already embracing one another In Bed. On the physical plane, the only touching they know is sexual, the only emotion, lust. At the end of the film, after having created a deep bond through knowledge of each other, beyond only sexual knowledge, both the physical and emotional planes are almost familial in nature. Sexual touching and lust have escaped them. Their embrace, In Bed, as the film ends reflects this change.

The film begins with about three minutes of moaning and groaning (which transforms into grunting and groaning, if you know what I mean) by the couple having sex. It started to annoy me about half way through because there wasn't anything attractive or interesting to look at. This is one of those directorial choices that are difficult to make: annoy the audience and hope they understand later why it had to be done that way. The director didn't want to titillate the audience with shots of what turn out to be attractive bodies, he wanted to make clear the couple were engaged in a deeply lustful encounter--for each other, not the audience.

I applaud that decision but confess I reacted to most of the rest of the film that way. I found myself annoyed very often throughout this film, a reaction I don't think the director had intended.

The entire film is shot in a motel room. The couple are in bed the whole time except for a quick bathtub break to give them a reason to get naked again.

To be fair, other viewers could easily like this film a lot more than I did. If you find the couple attractive (I found them both very attractive) you're halfway there. The other half depends on the delivery and content of the stories they share with one another. That's where the film failed me.

For example, we learn at the very beginning of the film (after the moaning, groaning, and grunting stops) that these two people don't know each other's names. The boy asks, "What's your last name again?" and the girl responds, "I think you don't remember my name and that's just a gracious way to ask again." The boy denies that this is the case. He gets busted in short order, but it's not a big deal as it turns out the girl thought she had just slept with someone other than who this boy turns out to be. The conversation went right from "What was your name again", to "Tell me about the other men you have slept with in this motel room." I found that, and most of the rest of the dialog in this film, to be inorganic and improbable. The director has approximately ninety minutes to get these characters to reveal themselves to us. With a certain portion of that taken up by more love-making, he's got to get right to the point.

I often think a joke is only as good as the setup. For others, a string of punch lines might work fine. I didn't like the setups. I did like the people, but I don't think they were very good actors.

A film like this is going to have a least a couple obligatory scenes: One, play a romantic song while one actor turns to look at the other just as the other is turning away. We've all seen the scene before. And two, play an upbeat song for the girl to dance provocatively to so she can show us how adorable and how much fun she is while the guy shows how much fun he is by showing us how much he enjoys her.

I thought both of those scenes in this film were awful. The dance scene was filmed horribly, zoomed in too close, and edited with too many quick edits. Someone once told me that if you see a martial arts film and the camera zoom is very close and the edits quick, it means the performer doesn't know martial arts very well and the director must try and present the illusion that they do. I say, ditto for provocative, getting to know you dance scenes.

Having said all this, I still think it's possible for someone else to enjoy this movie. It wants to be a sweet art house film and succeeds in that.

I felt the dialog and the director's capturing of it were awful. If others find resonance with the way this couple is filmed talking to one another they will like the film. As for the naked bodies and sex, there's better (9 Songs, for example), but this couple is attractive and they have very attractive, real looking bodies, IMHO.



  1. This movie is from Chile, not Spain. Different countries, different continents too.

  2. Well damn. There you go. Guilty as charged, smart ass. Thank you for pointing it out. I have corrected the label.