Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Perfect Crime: Grade A


The Perfect Crime (2004)

Rafael Gonzalez, Monica Cervera, Luis Varela. Director: Alex de la Iglesia. Spanish (subtitled).

Gonzalez is a department store clerk, head of ladies wear, locked in a comically serious sales contest with Varela, head of men’s wear. More fun is Gonzalez’ nighttime romps with the gorgeous women clerks in his department. He stays overnight in the store with each one, and they dress up fancy off the racks, serve themselves a feast from the deli department, toast each other in furniture (with the tags dangling from the glasses), and “sleep” in the bedding department. One plain-looking clerk (Cervera) is left out of the rotation however and that is trouble. When a murder plot develops, the movie shifts gears, from frothy farce to dark and macabre comedy full of visual and situational humor that ranges from slapstick gag to magical realism, to existential and sociological commentary. The Spanish title is funny and more appropriate (El Crimen Ferpecto). As long as you overlook the stereotypical dehumanization of the women, it is a thoroughly entertaining movie, well-acted and directed throughout.

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