A Walk in the Clouds
If only Dennis Hopper could have gotten Keanu Reeves off the busas easily as Alfonso Aran does in "A Walk in the Clouds." When Paul Sutton (Reeves) comes home from World War II he finds out that the wife he met and married in the span of about a weekend is -- surprise! -- a complete moron. He gets on a bus to San Diego, meets Victoria Aragon (Aitana Sanchez Gijon), gets off the bus, then quickly finds himself pretending to be her husband to prevent Victoria's father from killing her for being pregnant and unmarried.
Of course, dad's problem isn't Victoria's marital status or her pregnancy. It's Catholicism, the motto of which, if Victoria's father is any indication, is "What We Don't Like, We Kill." Fortunately, he is the exception in the Aragon family, which means Aran spends a lot of time filming cute relatives making funny expressions, especially precious Don Pedro (Anthony Quinn), who likes to drink and eat Paul's chocolates. Suddenly, Victoria and Paul begin to look lovingly at each other and Aran cuts to Ruela, the ugly maid, smiling at the good fortune of her employer's rich, stuck-up, bitch-of-a-daughter, no doubt thinking to herself that she's going to set fire to the house when nobody's looking because minimum wage has robbed her of her self-esteem.
Since this is a "beautiful, romantic film" it has to have one of those defining "beautiful, romantic film" moments. Aran's happens when an early frost comes to the Aragon vineyard. Everybody runs out and begins flapping these butterfly-like appendages to blow warm air across the vineyard. Are we supposed to be overcome by the rescue of frozen grapes? If Paul wasn't so dumbfounded by Victoria he'd have been thinking, "Hey, sweetheart, move into the twentieth century. We've got this cool thing called 'electricity.'" I guess the only problem with using a generator and an extension cord is that the cinematographer sits around all day sulking, mumbling to himself, "I cannot make the extension cord beautiful."
To spread the word about this A Walk in the Clouds review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.