Woody in Barcelona

Woody Allen is still making movies, did you know?  Last night we saw Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which sounds like a working title that never got replaced.  It’s not bad, essentially a sex comedy (with nothing but kissing) charged up by good actors and hot Mediterranean colors.

No matter where Woody goes, he never seems to leave 1955.  His main characters are naive, rich Americans seduced by European hedonism… at least here they don’t talk about the death of God.  Everyone lives Woody’s version of the good life, which essentially consists of reverently viewing art (nothing past 1960 please), then going out to eat.  We get to see some art made here, at least– quick knockoffs of 1950s action painting.  Everyone has money, but disdain is tossed at the work (especially the boring networking) necessary to make it.

Strangely, Woody seems not quite to have realized that Catalan and Spanish are two different things.  The Americans talk about learning or fail to learn Spanish; the natives speak Spanish; the soundtrack features a bouncy song about Barcelona sung in Spanish.  One of the girls is doing a thesis on “Catalan identity”, which seems to mean nothing but Gaudí (d. 1926); she also adores “Spanish guitar”.  The painter they meet is referred to as Catalan but comes from Oviedo.  I guess they don’t have Wikipedia in 1955.