Love Stories Only Last 90 Minutes (Historias de Amor Duram Apenas)

By 12 September, 2010

After five years of marriage Zeca spots his wife Julia cheating on him through the window. The strange thing about this though was that she was cheating on him with another woman. Unable to confront Julia he eventually meets his wife’s “mistress” and instantly falls in love with her. Without revealing too much more it’s safe to say that his marriage gets pushed to its very limits over the rest of the story.

With its self-involved, confessional style and occasional pieces to camera Love Stories Only Last 90 Minutes will undoubtedly illicit comparisons with Woody Allen’s early films; the main difference being the emotions that drive this story, which are neuroses more carnal than Woody ever tried to live with.

Zeca is a gifted writer, but without finishing the book he has been writing on for years, will this ever be confirmed. With no need to work due to the allowance he receives since his mother’s death, he continually procrastinates instead of writing, despite the cajoling of his father. Instead its the simple bases of lust and sexual desire that fuel his days, leading him into the arms of another woman.

This is such a sharply written movie that relies completely on the performance of Caio Blat as Zeca to convince of the complex emotions he feels first after spying his wife with another woman, then becoming besotted with the object of her affections before guilt eventually sets in. Maria Ribeiro and Luz Cipriota are also both excellent leaving no question as to why Zeca first married Julia and later lusted after Carol.

It also wins points for some of the excellent idiosyncratic turns that the story takes, some of the unfortunate incidents that mark out real life over fiction, and this is especially true of the scene featuring Zeca’s first sexual encounter with Carol. By playing the storyline of the affair aside Zeca’s ambitions to finish his novel we also get interwoven his family background, giving you a real sense of warmth to the main character despite his bad traits, and which along with clever dialogue and unexpected plot diversions make this one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen for quite some time.

Love Stories Only Last 90 Minutes received its UK premiere as part of the 2nd Brazilian Film Festival of London. Read more about the festival HERE.

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