Rosa’s Wedding – movie review

A pleasantly distracting comedy, Rosa’s Wedding centres around a hard-working woman who’s selfless to the point of exhaustion. She looks after everyone – family and friends all – other than herself.

About to turn 45, Rosa (Candela Peña) works long hours as a seamstress in the wardrobe department of a film production company in Valencia. Besides the considerable pressure of her job, she is also besieged by the demands of family members. That includes her perfectly healthy widowed father, Antonio (Ramón Barea) who decides – to her horror – that he wants to move in with her. Her brother Armando (Sergi López) is separated from his wife and has spent all his time and energy building a school, so child minding – he has two kids – is left to Rosa.

Her possibly alcoholic sister Violetta (Nathalie Poza) is far too busy to take her father to important appointments, so that too is left to Rosa. She also satisfies her boyfriend Rafa’s (Xavo Giménez) overtures. Rosa has a prickly relationship with her grown daughter Lidia (Paula Usero), who’s going through a rough patch of her own. Lidia implores her mother not to tell her how to live her life. And then there’s the small matter of Rosa’s constant favours – such as plant watering and pet minding and feeding – for neighbours and friends.

Then she realises what she’s been doing all these years. So, one day she packs it all in. She decides to retreat to her childhood home in the scenic coastal town of Benicassim, where her mother had a small business working as a seamstress. Rosa wants to open the doors of that shop again. But more than that, she decides she wants to get married. Mind you, her upcoming nuptials are hardly conventional.

The height of fantasy, Rosa’s Wedding is feel-good entertainment build around understandable assumptions. It’s a film with warmth and joie de vivre. Apart from a light-hearted script by Iciar Bollaín (who also directs) and Alicia Luna, the characters make the picture what it is. Peña makes for an endearing central character. I also particularly appreciated López as her flummoxed brother. Bollaín imbues the film with the lightness of touch required to pull it off.

Rosa’s Wedding is a life-affirming call to self-empowerment and independence that deserves a loyal following. It may be fluffy but the message of taking on too much and burning out isn’t lost.

Alex First

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