Three years after the release of El Otro Lado de la Cama a.k.a The Other Side of the Bed (2002) Spanish director Emilio Martinez Lazaro returns with a follow-up to his quirky comedy titled simply Los 2 Lados de la Cama a.k.a The 2 Sides of the Bed (2005). This time around the protagonists are a bit wilder, funnier, and once again madly in love.
Javier (Ernesto Alterio) has finally decided to make it official: he is going to marry his long-time girlfriend Marta (Veronica Sanchez). Pedro (Guillermo Toledo), Javier's best friend, is also in love with his girlfriend Raquel (Lucía Jiménez). The two couples are inseparable. Rafa (Alberto San Juan) is in love with Pilar (María Esteve). The two aren't ready to make it official but looking at Javier and Pedro Rafa believes that it is just a matter of time. The boys will finally become men.
Only Marta and Raquel are not quite ready to tie the knot yet! And so is Pilar who has been cheating on Rafa for awhile.
Leave it to the Spaniards to make a film about sex and relationships. And they will rarely disappoint you! Where Hollywood draws the line (candid talk, sex) Spanish directors often begin their films. And Emilio Lazaro's latest picture appears to be the perfect example: there is more color and edgy acting here than what you would encounter in five romantic comedies produced this side of the Atlantic.
The 2 Sides of the Bed works primarily because of two reasons:
First, all of the characters in this picture are convincing, relaxed, and with a few exceptions genuinely hilarious. Also, there is hardly any rehashed material here that we already witnessed in The Other Side of the Bed. The jokes are fresher, the tempo of the story visibly improved, the direction very convincing.
Second, the picture offers an outstanding music score with fantastic arrangements of popular 70s and 80s Spanish tunes propelling The 2 Sides of the Bed leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor (original music by Spanish favorites Rogue Banos). In addition, the top-notch choreography transforms Emilio Lazaro's film into a prime contender for the best contemporary crossover-musical from the last five years (colorful dancing scenes with sizzling Spanish flavor remind of Almodovar's early work).
What makes The 2 Sides of the Bed truly worth taking a look however is the constant energy oozing from the Spanish crew, there is something incredibly stimulating watching a group of actors who constantly compliment each other on the screen while competing to be the focus of attention. Such type of chemistry, in a comedy feature no less, is rarely seen!
How Does the DVD Look?
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and enhanced for widescreen TV's the film appears to have been sourced from a PAL-print, most likely the R2 Spanish DVD. This being said, this might very well be the only fault this Canadian-produced DVD has. Strong and vibrant colors, excellent contrast, and a print in impeccable condition (no dirt, scratches, or any sort of damage) is what we have here. As far as I am concerned it is really a shame that Mongrel Media did not transfer this print properly for their release as it could have been virtually flawless.
How Does the DVD Sound?
Well, while the Spanish R2 DVD offers a 5.1 Spanish mix the only audio option available on this disc is a 2.0 DD. The audio treatment is extremely good with no issues to report here (crystal clear dialog, very easy to follow) but I am a bit saddened as the music score is so beautiful it is a shame the Canadian company could not provide a more elaborate treatment. With optional English subtitles.
There are no supplemental materials to be found here.
I loved every single minute of this film! Excellent story, top-notch acting, and great, great soundtrack (what beautiful arrangements, some of them better than the originals)!! In fact, I liked The 2 Sides of the Bed so much I am going to add the R2 release to my collection immediately. This is the perfect comedy to get you in a mood for a very special night. The rest of course is up to you!
As to the DVD I am going to recommend it but state my disappointment with the fact that Mongrel Media continue to go the cheap-route we dislike here at TALK. I said it before and I will say it again: I love your line up of films and really hope that you finally drop the PAL-ports.