Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Marques-Marcet’

David Verdaguer, Natalia Tena, Oona Chaplin

“ANCHOR AND HOPE” My rating: B (Available Nov. 20 on Video on Demand)

113 minutes | No MPAA rating

Hovering delicately between knowing comedy and eventual heartbreak, “Anchor and Hope” sets itself up for romcom cliches and then cannily sidesteps all the traps it has laid.

Directed by Spaniard Carlos Marques-Marcet (who co-wrote the original screenplay with Jules Nurrish), this gay-themed yarn unfolds mostly on a residential boat floating on a London canal. (There also may be a reference here to “L’Atlante,” director Jean Vigo’s celebrated 1934 film about newlyweds living on a canal boat.)

The residents of this bohemian abode are Eva (Oona Chaplin…yes, Charlie’s granddaughter) and the tomboyish Kat (Natalia Tena), a lesbian couple in their mid-’30s.

As the film begins the two are burying their recently deceased cat in the back yard of Eva’s mom (Geraldine Chaplin, Oona’s Chaplin’s real-life mother), a latter-day hippie so insistently (insanely?) spiritual that even the agnostic Kat finds herself om-ing the dead feline into eternity.

“Anchor and Hope” (that’s the name of the pub where Kat works as a barmaid…though it may also have symbolic meaning) centers on two plot developments.

First there’s Eva’s growing certainty that she wants to be a mother. This is a discussion Kat would just as soon delay as long as possible, but now Eva senses her biological clock kicking into overdrive.

Secondly, there’s the arrival from Barcelona of Kat’s party-hearty buddy Roger (David Verdaguer).  He’s a raffish charmer of a Spaniard who sprouts muttonchops whiskers, a deliciously droll sense of humor and a shitload of testosterone.

Eva wants a baby. Roger is a nice guy with, presumably, healthy sperm. And after night of drunken carousing, Eva and Roger agree that he will donate the required spunk.  Kat, who apparently was spared the mothering gene, is appalled.

Nevertheless, soon their houseguest finds himself in the bathroom with a plastic vial and a cell phone tuned to pornography.  In a show of solidarity Kat wields the semen-filled syringe with which her partner will become preggers.


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