Romeo and Juliet get Married
(O Casamento de Romeu e Julieta)

foreign films

Romeo and Juliet get Married (O Casamento de Romeu e Julieta)
Made in: Brazil
Language: Portuguese
Director: Bruno Barreto
Starring: Marco Ricca, Luana Piovani, Luís Gustavo, Martha Mellinger, Berta Zemel, Leonardo Miggiorin
Year: 2005

Synopsis: Romeo (Marco Ricca), a successful opthamologist and single dad, and Juliet (Luana Piovani), an ambitious soccer player determined to start a professional women's league, fall head over heels in love with one another. The match seems nearly perfect, but there's one big problem: both are committed fans of rival soccer clubs.

For several generations, Romeo and his family have been die-hard followers of the Corinthians. And Juliet is not only fanatically obsessed with arch-rival Palmeiras, her father Alfredo (Luís Gustavo) is on the managing board of directors for that team.

In order to win over Juliet's family, and her father in particular, Romeo makes the excruciatingly painful decision of passing himself off as a Palmeiras fan. As Alfredo begins bonding with Romeo, the lies get more elaborate and the situation gets more out of hand than a soccer hooligan at a pub during world cup season.

Sooner or later, the truth must come out. Some say true love conquers all, but in the age of soccer fanaticism, even Shakespeare might have trouble thinking of a good way out of this one...

The Good: The versatile Bruno Barreto directs a strong comedy. Clever in referencing a famous love story, Romeo and Juliet get Married is quite original and thankfully does not parody the classic Shakespearean play.

Leading man Marco Ricca is very convincing as a committed soccer fan forced to root for the wrong team, and has many hilarious moments.

But the strongest character is Luís Gustavo's Alfredo, who's fun to watch and completely natural as a passionate Palmeiras supporter. Much of the story hinges on his character arc, and Gustavo's energy creates some touching moments.

The love story isn't so much about Romeo and Juliet as it is about the father-son-like relationship between Romeo and Alfredo. And there's an added layer of depth to Ricca's character since Romeo is coming to terms with understanding the changing relationship between himself and his own son (Leonardo Miggiorin).

The Bad: The romance between Romeo and Juliet developed a little too quickly. Piovani's character is very interesting at first, but she quickly gets pushed aside and almost becomes a minor element. Also, the characters' ardent passion for their respective soccer teams came across as too exaggerated at times.

Yes, it's true that crazy soccer fans exist and we've all heard of them doing crazy things in real life. But somehow extreme soccer madness, no matter how realistic in our world, is difficult to believably represent in fiction.

Who would like this movie: Although it's a foreign film with two sports teams that many of us Americans probably never heard of, Romeo and Juliet get Married has enough universal themes and humor to be enjoyed by both male and female soccer enthusiasts.

In fact, you'll probably enjoy this movie even if you aren't much of a soccer fan. But it does have a slight art-house feel to it, so I'd push this in the direction of more experienced foreign moviegoers.

Made with a lot of heart, it's a light, fun, entertaining, and overall solid film.

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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