Second Skin

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A romatic triangle destroys three lives in this modern-day melodrama, which, despite some strong performances, never rises above the level of a telanovela. Elena (Ariadna Gil) appears to have a perfect life: Her husband Alberto (Jordi Mollá) is handsome and successful, they have an adorable son and a beautiful house in the Madrid suburbs, and she has her...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A romatic triangle destroys three lives in this modern-day melodrama, which, despite some strong performances, never rises above the level of a telanovela. Elena (Ariadna Gil) appears to have a perfect life: Her husband Alberto (Jordi Mollá) is handsome and successful, they have an adorable son and a beautiful house in the Madrid suburbs, and she has her own fulfilling career. But Elena knows there's something wrong beneath the facade; she and Alberto rarely have sex and he refuses to discuss the disturbing distance between them. A hotel bill, left in the pocket of a suit Elena picks up at the dry cleaners, is the first clue. She starts snooping around and eventually discovers what we already know: Alberto is seeing a hunky surgeon named Diego (Javier Bardem), who has no idea his secretive new boyfriend is married. Diego's best friend, Eva (Cecilia Roth), senses immediately that Alberto is bad news. But the smitten Diego clings to the hope that she's wrong and there's some good explanation for Alberto's hurtful behavior. Elena, meanwhile, is horrified by her husband's secret life but still loves him. He says he loves her and wants to do whatever it takes to make their marriage work, while at the same time assuring Diego that he loves him and wants them to start a new life together. Aye, dios mio! The clichéd resolution arrives on the heels of the obligatory tearful confrontations, angry counter-flings, moments of forehead-furrowing self-doubt, steamy sex scenes and melancholy walks on deserted beaches. Though released in Spain in 1999, this film only received token U.S. theatrical distribution after Bardem's Academy Award nomination for his performance as gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. (In Spanish, with English subtitles)

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A romatic triangle destroys three lives in this modern-day melodrama, which, despite some strong performances, never rises above the level of a telanovela. Elena (Ariadna Gil) appears to have a perfect life: Her husband Alberto (Jordi Mollá) is handsome an… (more)

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