It may be true that Argentinian filmmaker Hernán Guerschuny was formerly a critic, but his innocuously agreeable meta rom-com does nothing to dispel the myth that it’s a job only for self-important, cine-hating blowhards keen to sharpen their knives and sink careers. (We’ll take offense so you don’t have to.)
Professorially bearded curmudgeonly reviewer Víctor Tellez (Rafael Spregelburd) rules the Buenos Aires blurb roost, imagining his days as an art film with internally narrated asides in French.
His disdain for crowd-pleasing formula is so patronizing (When Harry Met Sally should’ve started unhappily after the last kiss, he believes) that his own corporate-interested editor condemns him as a “terrorist of taste.” He’s annoyed by his teenage niece’s mainstream palate, selfishly tries to pull the “smile or I’ll choke you” bit from Breathless on his ex, and is unprepared for his world to turn into Capra corn once he meets an underwritten beauty named Sofía (Dolores Fonzi).
Fireworks literally explode as they kiss halfway through the film — ah, it’s a wonderful life. Criticism mutated long ago, after the internet’s floodgates opened, and that outmoded disconnect between The Film Critic and today’s film critics underscores how the persistent references to cinema and film writing are self-awarely mimicking clichés but not subverting them.