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Sex, Love & Betrayal

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Sex, Love & Betrayal
Directed by Jorge Fernando

Starring: Malu Mader, Murilo Benício, Fábio Assunção, Alessandra Negrini
Script: Denise Bandeira, Rene Belmonte
Original Title: Sexo, Amor e Traição
Running Time: 1:30
Country: Brazil
Year: 2004
Official Site: Sex Love & Betrayal
Sex, Love & Betrayal, a romantic comedy from Brazil, is a variation on a recent Mexican hit, transposed in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

When the film opens, we meet Carlos (Murilo Benício) & Ana (Malu Mader), a young couple that lacks chemistry since Carlos, an intellectual, focuses most of his attention on writing his book rather than on his wife. Enter Tomás (Fábio Assunção), Ana's volatile ex-lover, who suddenly adds some spice to their life. Across the street another couple, friends of theirs, breaks up and when Ana decides to leave both Carlos & Tomás, each apartment becomes a HQ for a battle of sexes between men and women. Their paths will of course intertwine, mostly through the involvement of Tomás, Latin lover par excellence and the most exciting character here, who disturbs the rules of this war thanks to his talents with the ladies.

Since I haven't seen the original film on which Sex, Love & Betrayal is based, I won't be able to assess the degree of originality of this work, but Sex, Love & Betrayal succeeds in its genre: the romantic comedy.

The film is fast-paced, fun, colorful and, not only do we immediately intrude on the lives of these appealing characters, but the entire cast pulls the picture together with its contaminating energy. Another indirect and interesting aspect of this film, at least for North American and European audiences, is that it's interesting to see, after the difficult but brilliant City of God, another side of life in Rio de Janeiro and to spend time with successful urbanites, far away from the usual iconic representations associated with this city—music and violence (there is a mention of it though with the robbery.)

The movie, despite its subject, avoids slipping into vulgarity, which is usually the epicenter of current American romantic comedies, and with no other pretension than to entertain—we don't get the usual moral American happy ending—Sex, Love & Betrayal contaminates the spectator with its joyful spirit; and this is what matters the most here.

  Fred Thom

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