Photo: Victor Bello/Weinstein Company
Imagine this: You're in a Barcelona café with a girlfriend. A handsome painter—he looks just like Javier Bardem!—strolls over and asks if he can whisk you both away for the weekend. You may be of two minds about this proposal, and each is represented in Woody Allen's new comedy: Sensible Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is indignant; romantic Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is enchanted. In Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the friends spend a summer negotiating their immediate desires and their long-term ideals; appearances by the painter's unstable ex-wife (Penelope Cruz) and Vicky's fiancé (Chris Messina) only deepen their confusion. Steeped in wine, sex, and Mediterranean languor, the film is as intoxicating as Bardem's bedroom-eyes gaze. Score one for Barcelona's tourism board.