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4.2 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Comedy of manners involving two young American men and their adventures in Barcelona.
Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 2-APR-2002
Media Type: DVD

Special Features

  • Alternate ending
  • Additional scenes
  • Mira Sorvino interview
  • Cast film highlights

Product Details

  • Actors: Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Tushka Bergen, Mira Sorvino, Pep Munné
  • Directors: Whit Stillman
  • Writers: Whit Stillman
  • Producers: Antonio Llorens, Cecilia Kate Roque, Edmon Roch, Jordi Tusell, Rosa Romero
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 2, 2002
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y71N
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,890 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Barcelona" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on May 18, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Whit Stillman has an ear for sophisticated dialog that is virtually unmatched among today's screenwriters. His characters speak in a way that is sharper, smarter, and "realer" than reality. There is also an intelligence in his work that is all too rare in today's pictures. You come away from his films not only entertained, but enlightened and, probably, having learned something as well.
"Barcelona" is about two American cousins living in Spain. Ted (Taylor Nichols) is a shy, reserved sales rep, and Fred (Chris Eigeman) a brash and handsome naval officer. The story is primarily a romantic one. Ted is in love with Montserrat (Tushka Bergen) and Fred, perhaps, with Marta (Mira Sorvino), both beautiful, free-spirited young Spanish women. Marta, though, turns out to be a little too free for Fred's taste, so he also falls for Montserrat. This, of course, provides complications of its own.
The film is set in "the last decade of the Cold War," a time of rampant anti-Americanism in Barcelona, which adds an intriguing political subtext to the romantic machinations that form the bulk of the story. This subtext manifests itself both in violence and humor that provide needed counterpoint to the love story.
What I like best about Stillman's work is the high regard in which he holds his audience. In a culture where the prevailing cinema is targeted at the lowest common denominator, the wit and intelligence of a film like "Barcelona" are a very welcome relief. When Stillman refers to Dale Carnegie, or the sinking of the "Maine," or draws insight from "Death of a Salesman," he assumes we know what he's talking about. He never belabors the point or tries to explain it.
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Format: DVD
First things first, Whit Stillman should be making movies until he dies. Let's get that guy back behind the camera for the good of everybody. Barcelona, as a film, is deceptively serious as, amid its banal conversations about the proper way to shave and management theory, grave subjects are illuminated.

The reflexive anti-Americanism of Spain and Europe are integral to many of the interactions experienced by Taylor and Eigeman, the two main characters. It's at the end of The Cold War and Spain is conflicted over NATO. A humorous side light concerning this situation is made by Eigeman, "I think it's well-known that anti-Americanism has its roots in sexual impotence, at least in Europe." Eigeman's presence in the uniform of a US Naval officer in the Barcelona streets has somewhat predictable results. Yet, no one is able to refute his point that even if the Spaniards don't like NATO, they would never prefer the Soviets rolling through Western Europe instead. The conspiracy theories that some of the Spanish poseurs spout are quite bankrupt on their surface (such as the existence of a right-wing labor union called the AFL-CIA).

On an aesthetic level, this is a beautiful film. Shots of the grand buildings that comprised old Catalonia are breathtaking. The outfits and faces of the trade show girls are just as riveting. I think Stillman succeeds in capturing some of the city's nobility within these frames.

The Spanish women are a mystery to both Eigeman and Taylor, but, with Taylor, the audience is constantly present as he overanlyzes emotions which few words could possibly describe. You have the feeling though that a character like Taylor's would be a foreigner in any land he visited. Thanks for this one, Mr. Stillman, now go make six more.
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Format: VHS Tape
Whit Stillman has his eye on the world and his finger on the pulse of a certain breed of upperclass white society, and white upperclass men in particular. He understands their insecurities and ineffectualities while pulling apart the fabric of their lives to expose their structure as inherently faulty. In Barcelona, the result is always whimsical and occasionally hysterical, juxtaposing American and European thoughts and values while never losing sight of the great underlying tragedy: that everyone is lonely, regardless of where they come from or what language they speak.
Stillman is incredibly literary as filmmakers go, injecting more sociopolitical dialogue into his scripts than most would dare. But the skilled actors, especially Stillman regulars Taylor Nichols and Chris Eigeman as cousins Ted and Fred Boynton, add a level of humanity to their otherwise textbook arguments that make them relevant and dryly hilarious. Stillman also has a penchant for the borderline absurd, masterfully combining comedy and tragedy. Who else could elicit humor while negating pity from a botched assassination attempt than Stillman and Eigeman, much less find a romantic angle to work?
For my money, it's the little moments that make any story worth remembering, and Barcelona is peppered with them. Eigeman's failed attempts to introduce the Barcelona soiree crowd to the allure of the limbo... Nichols's uptight sales executive trying to loosen up by reading the Bible while dancing to "Pennsylvania 6-5000," unaware that he has an audience... an anecdote about a dead soldier's body being shipped home to the states, as told from the coffin's point of view while being transported on a forklift...
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