Film

‘El Carro’

by

Call it Life as a Car, or rather, “in” one. An episodic meander through one ownership cycle of a 1950s red Chevy drop-top, El Carro is part fluff, part social farce, and all foregone conclusion, yet its earnest sympathy wringing threatens to make heartless bastards of those who can’t find some worth in its sincerity. Births, betrayals, and auto-body repairs figure prominently throughout this anecdotal history of the striving middle-class Colombian family that acquires the titular ride. After giving away a winning lottery ticket to their neighbors, the Velez clan mortgage much of their future—including the cash for their childrens’ university tuition—to buy their first car. Sábado Gigante hilarity ensues. Zaira Alejandra Valenzuela does her best prepubescent Asia Argento (a thought both frightening and illegally hot) as punkish youngest daughter Paola, whose adult reminiscences in voiceover reveal the story as hers. First-timer Luis Orjuela paint-rollers on soupy layers of humor and emotion while mixing in measured shots of class commentary to frustrate the mere classic-car-porn enthusiasts in the crowd. Hey, at least the car doesn’t have “feelings.”