Woman on Top

Bomb Rating: 

If this film and "Bossa Nova" are any indication, something is seriously wrong in Brazil . I don't know if it's true that all the women walk around topless there or all the men look like Antonio Banderas and are such great lovers that the females are in a perpetual state of orgasm, but whatever it is, this is a country that apparently has no grasp of reality whatsoever.

Isabella (Penelope Cruz) is married to Toninho (Murilo Ben'cio) and they run a restaurant together. The only problem is that Isabella does all the cooking and Toninho just runs around being friendly to people. Because Isabella wants to be on top during sex, Toninho cheats on her and Isabella runs off to San Francisco where she shacks up with her best friend, Monica (Harold Perrineau, Jr.), a flamboyant transvestite. Imagine that -- in San Francisco. Hey, I don't want to knock the transvestite lifestyle or anything, but the whole "funny transvestite friend" thing is becoming the worst kind of cliché. Couldn't Isabella just have a talking parakeet that screeches amusing anecdotes?

Isabella tries to get a job as a chef, but has no luck. Meanwhile, she cooks for fun and the aromas from her dishes escape the apartment and end up in the nose of Cliff (Mark Feuerstein), who -- golly, why not? -- gives her a television show. Isabella walks onto the street and every heterosexual man in San Francisco follows her around. A tear drops from her eye onto a flower she's wearing, and the thing blooms. This is serious, serious crap.

Toninho shows up eventually and starts singing songs to Isabella, but now that she has her own television show, she doesn't want to hear it. Oh, I almost forgot: There's this Brazilian god who's apparently a porcelain knick-knack down at the bottom of the sea and when Isabella leaves Brazil, there are no more fish. She prays to the thing to make her stop loving Toninho, so when he shows up, she doesn't want to go back to him until he finally changes his opinion of her place in their bed and in their restaurant. Eventually, she changes her mind, and that's it. The end. If that sounds like something you want to see, you probably need some sort of professional help.

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