Like an actual New Year's party, Álex de la Iglesia's satirical story about the pre-taping of a New Year's TV special comes packed with too many guests, insufficient time to meet everybody and a handful of gaudy distractions you don't really care about en route to the night's big climax. There isn't even enough time to be intoxicated by what's on offer, as the co-writer/director spreads himself too thin in broadly spoofing a filmmaking process that's probably funnier to him and his crew than it is to the casual viewer. Our sort-of everyman is Jose (Pepón Nieto), hired to be an extra on an interminable TV shoot featuring oily, Liberace-like crooner Alphonso (Spanish singing star Raphael) and young, dumb pop idol Adanne (Mario Casas).
Many crimes are afoot as the shoot goes on, including an attempted murder of Alphonso by his son/agent/punching bag, a potential heist of Adanne's semen by gold-diggers and the constant raiding of dressing rooms for booze by a wall-eyed fellow crudely nicknamed the Chinaman, who resells his spoils to bored actors. Also, the hosts of the show hate each other and riots are occurring outside over the production's union violations. If that sounds like too much to take in, it is -- not because the plot is complicated, but because the stakes don't matter. De la Iglesia made us really empathize with clumsy underdogs in the likes of El Crimen Perfecto and The Last Circus; here, we can take or leave his windbag showbiz caricatures, whether they fall or prevail.
Álex de la IglesiaBlanca Suárez, Mario Casas, Santiago Segura, Hugo Silva, Carolina Bang, Antonio Velázquez, Luis Callejo, Luis Fernández, Carmen Ruiz, Carlos ArecesJorge Guerricaechevarría, Álex de la IglesiaBreaking Glass Pictures
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