Books & Drinks: Review

Books & Drinks: Review

Books & Drinks: Review. By Samhith Ankam.

It feels like rom-coms on vacation feel more in awe of its surroundings for laughs compared to this; culture specificity allows for characters (usually white men) to take on a fish-out-of-water ignorance that creates a “us laughing at them” (read: character) / ”us laughing a them” (read: culture) dynamic. There’s none of that here, if anything maybe a reversal where people are going back into a place that feels natural. That’s fine, if not dandy, but the vibes feel so pedestrian.

After its token shot of the mansion, it doesn’t rise above events like drinking beer on a beach, etc which only serves to render the location of the Dominican Republic in increasingly anonymous ways. As a result, everyone in this movie – more famous than you might suspect if you aren’t familiar with Spanish cinema – who thinks they’re all encapsulated in indie Sundance vibes, only finds themselves trapped in something more akin to Hallmark channel programming.



The most it gets to having fun with its fish-out-of-water situation is a running joke about a chef dead-eying our Vegan protagonist, so your mileage on these jokes may vary on your disgust for those who are herbivores like the Brachiosaurus dinosaur of years past. This movie is quite emotive on paper – It’s about David who travels to the Dominican Republic to sell his late father’s mansion.

The lack of emotion is also in the text – David’s father was an absent one, and a mansion echoes the vanity that perhaps drove him away. But, Jackson Rathbone who plays David brings an eraser-like quality to all that, his confused eyes are a blackhole of intention; Geoffrey Cowper uses it to create a love-square (David and his girlfriend, Raquel, and Maria and her boyfriend, Alex, all “switch” partners) but no one “fights” for their relationships.

Raquel does out of frustration of the lack of communication, which the movie antagonizes for drama, and I’m starting to as well. Look elsewhere for your rom-com comfort.


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