SXSW 2011 Review: FUCK MY LIFE (QUE PENA TU VIDA)
Writers: Nicolás López, Guillermo Amoedo (script advisor)
Director: Nicolás López
Cast: Ariel Levy, Lucy Cominetti, Andrea Velasco, Paz Bascuñan
Breaking up with someone is hard enough without the whole world knowing about it. It was only a few years ago that this kind of public humiliation was reserved for celebrities and those famous enough to warrant magazine covers. But now, thanks to online social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, anyone can be immediately lauded or harpooned in front of anyone with an Internet connection.
Javier (Ariel Levy) has just broken up with his girlfriend Sophia (Lucy Cominetti). Despite the fact that he is the one who ended things, he cannot seem to get over her after she moves on to a new relationship and burgeoning music career. Narrated through talking heads, FUCK MY LIFE uses all the people involved with (or effected by) Javier and Sophia’s relationship to explain what happened to bring them to this point.
Javier is selfish and clearly only wants what he cannot have. He viciously takes to Facebook and Twitter to slander the woman he once (and claims to still) loved. During a drunken hallucination, Javier’s conscious makes an appearance in the form of Sophia and makes a good point in asking why he has to be so cruel. With such a readily available (and public) forum to express any and all thoughts one has at any given moment, it is sometimes hard to remember that words still hurt and sometimes people should take a moment before committing to those emotions in writing.
Javier has clearly romanticized his relationship with Sophia as he focuses on happy pictures of them together and memories of the good times. His best friend (and the only person who does not shy away from telling him the truth), Angela (Andrea Velasco), chimes in to help round out the real story of how this relationship fell apart. After all the drunken embarrassments, one night stands, and hours lost at dance clubs trying to form new connections, Angela remains Javier’s one constant in the slew of characters that populate his life.
Before the Internet and this constant information overload, if someone was upset, the most damaging thing they could do was leave a message on someone’s answering machine to possibly be played over and over. Now you can simply look at your news feeds to see anything someone has said in the heat of the moment as it is viewed and digested by all your friends and followers in an instant. Director Nicolás López succeeds in creating a film that shows, despite all the different outlets we have to communicate with one another, relationships always comes down to simple and honest conversation between two people.
An amusing, but also heartfelt, performance from Levy gives Javier just enough honesty to keep the audience rooting for him despite all his blunders along the way. The moments when he puts down his iPhone and starts being honest with himself are the highlights of the film and help root the story in something real to go along with the funny-because-it’s true text messages and status updates.
FUCK MY LIFE gives audiences a hilarious look at dating in the digital age. Brought to the festival from Chile, the film resonates and proves that no matter where you live love, relationships and heartbreak are universal. And you do not even need to check your Twitter updates to confirm that.
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