Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas; Sex, Shame & Tears movie review, Antonio Serrano, Demian Bichir, Susana Zabaleta, Jorge Salinas, Cecilia Suarez, Victor Hugo Martin, Monica Dionne, Angelica Aragon. Review by Rob Blackwelder ©SPLICEDwire

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"Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas" ("Sex, Shame & Tears")

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By Rob Blackwelder

An enormous step up from Mexican soap operas in terms of depth, realism and performance, this psycho-sexual dramedy roundelay about two unhappy couples, two interloping ex-lovers, two love triangles and a mix-match of break-ups and brief encounters is nonetheless a soap opera all the same.

Writer-director Antonio Serrano makes his characters too ready to cheat, too quick to anger and too eager to forgive, giving the film so many ups and downs it might make you seasick. The story shows unique promise halfway through when, fed up with the opposite sex, all three men end up living in one high-rise apartment and all three women in another -- directly across a bustling Mexico City street from each other.

Frustration and teasing from balconies quickly ensue, but so do some rather unsympathetic boo-hoo tales of romantic misery from, for instance, the handsome, coked-up, philandering yuppie who habitually cheats on his suppressed ex-model wife, or the nymphomaniac whose nebbish boyfriend has interests of higher priority than sex. They're all equally (sometimes annoyingly) dysfunctional -- but none of them in an especially compelling or entertaining way.

The sextet of stars brings these characters vividly to life, which keeps the film engaging enough that viewers with a higher tolerance for such dysfunction might really like it. But others will think this bunch just need to pull themselves together and get on with their lives.

**1/2 out of ****
(108m | R)
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