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With: Tatiana Saphir, Carla Crespo, Veronica Hassan, Beatriz Thibaudin
Written by: Diego Lerman, Maria Meira, based on the novel by Cesar Aira
Directed by: Diego Lerman
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Running Time: 94
Date: 04/26/2002

Suddenly (2003)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Hit the Road

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A fantastic feature debut from Argentina's Diego Lerman, Suddenly ignores traditional cinematic rhythms and plays like an oddball Stranger than Paradise with kooky humor naturally rising from deadpan situations. Appearing at first like a sullen, apathetic black-and-white road movie, Suddenly begins with frumpy, self-conscious teenage shopgirl Marcia (Tatiana Saphir) as a victim waiting for a crime. A pair of lesbians of about the same age, Mao (Carla Crespo) and Lenin (Veronica Hassan), clad in short hair and short pants, wander into her shop and decide to "kidnap" her. Mao claims that she's fallen in love with Marcia at first sight and wants to sleep with her. When they find that Marcia has never visited the beach, they steal a taxi and take her there. Afterwards, the trio decides to visit Lenin's aunt Blanca (Beatriz Thibaudin). Plenty could have gone wrong in a coming-of-age story like this, from quasi-poetic soul-searching and navel-gazing to gooey visuals and tinkly music, to awkward sexual awakenings. Happily, Lerman avoids all this and finds a lovely balance between the heartfelt and the quirky. He slowly blurs the story's volatile attitudes and brings them to a subtle froth, in which emotional truth is somewhat, but not entirely, concealed.

DVD Details: Empire Pictures re-released this DVD in 2007 with a director's bio, a photo gallery and trailers for The Twilight Samurai, Almost Peaceful, The Three Marias and Suddenly. And that's my blurb on the back of the DVD box!

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