The story begins with Pedro and Rui, a gay couple celebrating its first  anniversary. After they’re finished Pedro parts in the twilight and gets in a car accident that kills him.

Rui then has to typically deal with the loss and try to get is life going again (meeting many obstacles along the way, of course).

This is where the story breaks the mold: Pedro’s neighbor Odete, a pretty girl with few future perspectives but longing for building a family, breaks into Rui’s life telling him she’s pregnant with Pedro’s child.

The rest of the movie deals between the dysfunctional dynamics of Rui and Odete, and has a very original and interesting ending which tries to accommodate for the characters’ wishes and the reality they live in.

A new Almodóvar?

There are several positive things about the movie.

Perhaps the best way of imagining the film is by comparing it with Almodóvar’s movies, as they share several elements in common.

The characters have to deal with loss (think about All About my Mother), and they do that through a confrontation with ghosts of the past (remember Volver). Also, his use of Moon River as a soundtrack and a theme is something that Almodóvar has don
e in the past (in La mala educación).

I must admit I was weary of his decision to make that song a part of his movie, as it is very cliché, but after watching it I have to say it works well.

Merits of its own

But it wouldn’t be fair to write off Rodrigues as a Portuguese copy of Almodóvar: his movie has merits of its own. Rodrigues is 16 years younger than the Spanish director, and you feel that generational difference in the mindset of the characters (a hip bartender and a sexy rollerblading supermarket worker), it’s a very subliminal mindset that is hard to pin down but is nevertheless felt.

Gone as well are Almodóvar’s romantic allusions to the small countryside hometown- Rodrigues’ story is firmly set in Lisbon and do
es not go out of it.

Watch it!

Lastly, the film’s focus on loneliness and how it is experienced by the different characters is another sign of João belonging to a newer generation, much more nuclear and urbanized than Almodóvar’s.

The ending of the movie is very interesting as well. I must admit that I was a little unsettled by it, but after thinking about it I think I like it- a compromise is reached and the characters are happy with it, and that’s a lesson we should learn as well.

Conclusion: watch it if you get the chance!