'Queens'

With five overbearing mothers and six overshadowed gay sons, this Spanish meet-the-parents ensemble farce aims for Almodóvar but falls far short. Even Almodóvar’s leading women (Marisa Paredes, Verónica Forqué, and Carmen Maura) can’t rescue the script, whose strained sitcom patter renders each mother in caricature: the doe-eyed sex addict, the icy businesswoman, the frigid judge, the chilly film star, and the blubbering martyr. The plot revolves around a multiple wedding, supposedly the first (legal) gay weddings in Spanish history. The out-of-town mothers have converged in Madrid for the event; those already there would avoid it if they could. The conflict arises when the women meet each other and their prospective sons-in-law. The seasoned actresses are grand enough, but what a waste: Rather than elevate the material, they amplify its banalities. Director-co-writer Manuel Gómez Pereira’s answer for everything seems to be heterosexual sex, even when sex is the problem, or when the participants are gay.

 
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