Vicki Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen's new film is a lightweight and lighthearted affair.

The narration in Vicki Cristina Barcelona isn't unnecessary exposition, it's just an effort to give Woody Allen's latest a literary sophistication. Just how well does this hide that the movie hasn't much worth saying?

The beauty of Barcelona levels Allen's hopelessness about female sexuality. New York girls Vicki (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are both content in their own views of romance. Vicki is engaged to be married, having found a stable, successful guy. Cristina is drawn to more adventurous men. Vacationing together in Barcelona, the two girls are approached by charming painter Jose (Javier Bardem), who doesn't try to dance around that he's looking for consequence-free sex.

Allen instills some surprises along the way, but as the two girls become infatuated with Jose, losing faith in their own lifestyle beliefs, it unearths a shallow bitterness. Women don't know what they want, and that will destroy them, the movie insists. This is as noxious and cynical as Katy Perry's current hit "I Kissed a Girl," which slights teenage homosexual desire as a stepping-stone for straight girls.

Allen leaves these girls unenlightened and unsure of themselves. There's no revelation in this lightweight, but deceptively lighthearted, affair. And that leaves nothing to think about.

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