Vicky Christina Barcelona

At least it's a good travelogue. This movie just didn't grab me the way Woody Allen's "Match Point" did a few years ago, but it offers extraordinary shots of Barcelona's unique architecture, restaurants, viewpoints, parks, waterfront and plazas. The story flirts with what I would crassly call "an old man's wet dream." (Did I just say that?!) For example, the idea of a ménage a trois featuring two world-class beauties: Penelope Cruz ("Volver" and "Vanilla Sky") and Scarlett Johansson ("Match Point" and "The Other Boleyn Girl") certainly would qualify, don't you think?

Johansson plays Cristina, a free-spirited young woman visiting Barcelona on a lark with her long-time friend, Vicky, effectively portrayed by Rebecca Hall ("Starter for Ten" and "The Prestige"). The first is looking for a new experience, while the second is visiting an old friend before her fall wedding in New York. Patricia Clarkson ("The Station Agent" and "Lars and the Real Girl") is the restless old friend, who ends up engineering a great deal of mischief in Vicky's life.

The two young women meet a favorite of mine, Javier Bardem ("Before Night Falls," "The Sea Inside" and Oscar winner for "No Country for Old Men"), who plays a local artist, recently single after a notorious, mutually violent divorce from his spitfire wife, Cruz.

Personally, I was grateful for a wonderful voiceover by Christopher Evan Welch ("The Hoax" and "The Good Shepherd"), formerly from Seattle. He is not only a fine actor, he enunciates!

Other than a fine performance by Hall, this was singularly uninvolving.

Oh well... The theater was air conditioned, and I loved the scenery!