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on December 21, 2013
That this film adaptation of Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel of the same name has been given 20+ thumbs-down reviews (out of 120+) is hardly surprising. What I would not have anticipated was the vehemence of those reviews--some of which were pans for no other reason then they found the content morally and aescetically reprehensible and more than a few which slammed the film for the characters speaking English.

On the other side of the spectrum, the four-and-five star reviews outnumbered the pans by more than 2:1 and almost 3:1. So, what are we to make of this?

Objectively, one's review may say more about the reviewer than the merits or deficits of the film itself. If one needs the edge-of-your-seat pacing of, let's say "Zero Dark Thirty" to remain engaged with a film, they are likely to find "Love in the Time of Cholera" a cosmic snore. On the other hand, if one is content with protracted stretches of what appears to be static plotting knowing Garcia Marquez will inevitably place a brilliant insight into our hands or dialogue that can make us look at life in a completely different way ("I am not afraid of dying; I am afraid of old age".) than it is likely that person's review will be ovationary or quite positive.

It has been said that "Expectation is the mother of future resentment.". My guess is the that the more scathing reviews are the result of the expectations of certain reveiwers rather than any real liabilities of the film itself. The most banal criticism, in my opinion,is that the film fails to rise to the level of the book. How many films based on extraordinary novels do? The expectation that a 400-page novel, written by one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, can be transferred to the screen with equivalent or even approximate beauty and power is incredibly naive.

Finally, those who find the plot implausible or the characters driven by contradictory motives, apparently don't inhabit the same universe I do. I know of a very elderly, accomplished man who loved one woman his entire life and finally married her 60 years after they first met, forty years after she was married and then widowed and who could bed women 30-40 years his junior.

Perhaps Gabriel Garcia-Marquez knew of one, also.

At the end of the day, "Love in the Time of Cholera" form me was a life-affirming film with enough diamonds in the ash for me to want to give it a second and, quite likely, third viewing. And, as I suggested, one's response to it may say more about expectation than observation.
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on February 22, 2014
The score to this fine film was (is) the the fifth star to this fine film. Bardem really gives us another great performance.
What drew in to this fine film was Shakira's haunting magical voice . The musical director and director placed each piece of music in exactly the perfect place. It is the best scored movie in my experience as a film and music lover. I have learned over the years how important a score can be to a film mostly from Scorceses lectures. He has been on target with his films .
In Love in the time of cholera , Shakira composed and sung three or four songs just for this movie. They are spectacular. Eye tearing.Yes Shakira is a great performer and no where is it more evident then here.
Her songs and her voice matched the mood of this film perfectly.
The actors are terrific ,the story intriguing but the heart of this film is the emotion Shakira songs brings to us.
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on October 14, 2017
I bought this as a gift for my mother who had seen this movie and loved the book. She did not own either because she has borrowed the book from the public library and rented the movie locally. She was so excited to receive this DVD movie!
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on January 11, 2011
It is extremely difficult for a motion picture to compete with the novel on which it is based, especially if the novel is outstanding and evokes oceans of images in the minds of readers as they read. This is the situation faced with this movie based on the outstanding and sweeping novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. So how can I be fair in reviewing the film? If you use the novel as the standard, the film often does not measure up to the novel. However, if you review the film as a stand alone product, independent of the novel, it might not be so bad after all. The later is the approach I took, in all fairness, since many viewers may never have read the wonderful classic novel by one of South America's greatest novelist.

The story is that of a romantic idealistic fellow, Florentino Ariza, played very well by Unax Ugalde. He is employed by his uncle as a telegraph operator and happens to see and then fall into an obsession with the beautiful, wealthy, Fermina Daza, played by Giovanna Mezzogiorno. Her father is scandalized that a poor boy is courting his daughter and that she is responding to his efforts to se her and speak to her. Her father is played by the talented actor John Leguizamo. Her father decides that the only way to kill this budding romance is to take Fermina away so that both parties have a chance to cool off. To save the love sick Florentino, his mother, uncle, and close friend all conspire to encourage him to undertake a series of sexual encounters with a broad range of women. Florentino's mother Tránsito is an especially wonderful and wise character. She is played to perfection by Fernanda Montenegro. His uncle involves him in the telegraph trade so that he might earn a living. The sexual encounters are humorous and even touching in this film. Florentino grows up and is now played by the actor Javier Bardem. His performance is excellent, often understated and gentle. At this point I would like to say that the novel was not able to capture the depth of the love letters and the ingenious way Florentino was able to communicate with Fermina through a series of telegraph operators who all collaborate in the clandestine romance. The novel has an abrupt break that is not quite as dramatic in the film but Fermina marries the brilliant, wealthy, handsome Dr. Juvenal Urbino, played by Benjamin Bratt. She settles down to a life of luxury, motherhood, and is a faithful wife. Her eyes are opened that he husband is not the saint everyone believes, but he repents of his sins and remains devoted to his wife until his dying day. Florentino on the other hand becomes wealthy through inheriting and managing his uncle's telegraph business. This is probably enough said about the plot since the ending is charming and interesting. The film is about love, one of Marquez's central themes, and is wonderful at depicting love at various stages of life and a broad range of love experiences and perspectives. The film honors the fact that love is a phenomenon beyond time, age, experience or understanding and this is the strength of the film and the reason I don't judge it too harshly. It does not compare to the outstanding novel but its messages around love are wonderfully played out and entertaining.
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on June 2, 2017
I like this movie very much and even though its a love story of sorts, it has a little bit of drama there at the end.
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on November 4, 2017
I loved the book, "Love in the Time of Cholera," but didn't think they could make a movie from it that would do it justice. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it.
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VINE VOICEon August 30, 2013
I can't add anything to the positive reviews on this film.

I caught this on cable, and what I saw (the last hour) was enough to motivate me to buy it!

Entertaining. Fuuny. Sad. Though-provoking are words that come to mind...

I know some people that reviewed this termed it a somewhat pornographic movie (it wasn't). What I took away from this effort, is that some people are driven by desires for many things...and some...for ONE!

How long would you wait for something that you really, really, really want?

See the movie!


I rate "Love in the time of Cholera"...Four stars!

P.S., I'm going to get (and read) the book to see what was left out!
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on February 14, 2009
I strongly disagree with the opinions that this is less than a beautiful movie. This is by far my favorite Garcia-Marquez book and the rendition was beautifully done. The anguish of Javier Bardem is palpable and the other characters well done. Anyone who loves Colombia should enjoy this film so authentically filmed in the northern regions of Cartegena, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Magdalena. A Colombian love story in the beauty of Colombia - a treasure and I highly recommend it.
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on January 29, 2014
I only got it because of the Shakira music that's it. I'm sure the novel was very beautiful, but the movie was really whack. It went no where and it wasn't as romantic as the trailer made it out to be. So in the end, unless you're a super Shakira fan, I don't recommend the movie. It was nice and stuff, which is why I gave it 3 stars and not 2, but it's just like eh. It's a nice movie for when you've seen everything in your movie collection and need to switch things up and watch a good bad movie. It's a beautiful concept though. It was just put together and executed very poorly. The whole time you're just thinking about all the different things they could have done to improve the movie and make it way better. But I don't NOT recommend it. I just don't recommend it either.
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on September 25, 2017
Such a good story! I just feel like the movie could have been done better.
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