Football Days

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Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska

Antonio has just got out of jail. Serving his sentence was questionably government money well spent; he has a severe temper and the anger management classes have given him ambition to be a psychologist. I feel sorry for his patients-to-be.

For Antonio (Ernesto Alterio) is by character a thug with a really short fuse! Nonetheless he is trying. He persuades his useless cronies to play seven-a-side football, thinking it will ease their (mostly female related) troubles. Alas, the course of football, like the course of true love, never did run smooth…

Don’t think for a moment that you are watching an art film. This is Spanish mainstream cinema. The characters speak confusingly quickly, the script is ridden with expletives and the general attitude to love is as blase as the attitude towards sex. This is not the first Spanish act I’ve seen which doesn’t sugarcoat the love myth generated by countless Hollywood rom coms. Instead it tells it like it is – or like it is in Spain at least! This honesty vibe is the one good thing amid a load of troubles that curse the film.

There are moments where you tend to debate which of the characters are the most irritating and which of their actions will drive you furthest up the wall. It’s a movie that goes pretty much nowhere, with very few memorable laughs along the line.

The football (the little that there is) sucks. But this is no sport drama, and luckily FOOTBALL DAYS is not as amateur as the sport in it. You will appreciate it for its humorous take on the subject matter – in the grander scheme of things I think it is life itself – if you do not mind its sometimes inherent stupidity or offensive outbursts. In its defence, it is ambitiously made and, within its rightful context, achieves its motives. These are solely to entertain with as much crassness as can be allowed in a two-hour run.

This comedy will satisfy your humour if you watch it with a pinch of salt. Actually you might need a saltshaker full.

3 out of 6 stars