Light romantic comedy plays on group therapy acts
The light romantic comedy The Mexican plays on the idea of psychotherapy groups that makes it more interesting.
Therapy groups have boomed in modern societies as an increasing number of people face various kinds of psychological problems.
Cohabiting Sam (Julia Roberts) and Jerry (Brad Pitt) attend a marriage therapy group together in the hope of finding out solutions to their problems.
The dysfunctional couple passionately love each other but seem unable to get along because, as Sam claims, that Jerry is selfish and always puts his own needs before hers. Ironically, Sam is the one who is persistently nagging and starts fighting whenever they are together.
They seem to learn less how to love than how to use the language of psychotherapy in their explosive antagonistic exchanges. It is a parody that they know through 'the group' of each other's soft spot: Sam is overpowering and demanding while Jerry is feeble - to attack each other. In fact, the star- crossed lovers do nothing more in their very limited shared screen time than quarreling.
Being an inept and unwilling gangster, Jerry is again sent by his boss on a 'last' assignment to Mexico to retrieve a valuable antique pistol. No longer taking his endless 'last' errands, Sam breaks up with him and leaves for Las Vegas.
As Jerry stumbles into never- ending troubles, killer Winston (mob TV hit Sopranos star James Gandolfini) takes Sam hostage for the gun. Winston turns out to be a sensitive gay man who quickly becomes soulmates with Sam to help sort out each other's love problems. The dialogues sound like they are copied from one of the Mars and Venus book series. One may wonder if John Gray and authors of similar books can sue the screenwriter for copyright infringement.
Gandolfini plays this delicate character with so much nuance that viewers who are not Roberts' fans are saved from fall ing asleep during this rather boring part.
Meanwhile, Jerry's adventures are more entertaining with funnier twists and turns encircled in exotic Mexicaness and rhythmic South American music. Cursed by a pair of lovers who were forced apart a century ago, the gun is dysfunctional and symbolises Jerry's flawed masculinity. Here runs the worn-out message that you should never know when enough is enough in accepting the one you really love. The Mexican opens tomorrow on the Broadway circuit.