Comedy? Argentine-Style?

7 12 2008

un novio para mi mujer

I wonder how cultural identification works. By this I mean, what do we find funny? Why do we find it funny? How much does background play into our opinions? It’s all rather messy. I both enjoy and hate the comedic styles of my home country. On the former end of the spectrum, that is, on the enjoyable side of things, there is a penchant for honestly and for wonderful expressivity. On the latter end, however, there is also a penchant to let this expressivity get out of control. All sorts of annoying hand-movements and loud hollers may ensue, drowning out whatever humor the scene in question ever hoped to communicate.

Perhaps it’s a question of volume. Some comedies are more subdued, others are more extreme. It all depends on the comedians and on the directors. It also depends on the medium. Film comedies tend to lean towards the calm and measured while television comedies are stuck in a grotesque wasteland. I can barely watch them. This bleeds into dramatic genre-pieces as well. We note the same personality split, the same divergence between melodramatic grandiosity and quiet observation. In short, we get the sappy Luna de Avellaneda and the subtly tragic La Niña Santa. This division is somewhat true around the world, but it seems that in Argentina both styles are specific to the culture. Both feel very Argentine.

I don’t know where Taratuto’s Un Novio Para Mi Mujer stands. I think it’s a middle ground. It is occasionally overdone and mostly unhurried. Some scenes step over the line and other scenes hold back. The actors are allowed to work with their characters and give them movement and life. Yet, they sporadically dive into the arena of hyperbole and caricature. I think it is a case study. This movie hosts, within itself, the two pronged nature of Argentine comedy.

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3 responses

8 12 2008
Vasco

I love the title. And I love you.

13 12 2008
JediMoonShyne

Does this mean that Halo-17 has terminated your contract? Any severance pay?

8 01 2009
Digital Filmmaking

An interesting post. I liked your writing style.

Thanks.
Dolly

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