Tapas (2005) Poster


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Best enjoyed with a good Rjoca
Sgt_Bilko31 October 2005
I've just got back from watching this delightful film at the London Film Festival. I have to say that I was not expecting a lot as I had booked the tickets on a whim, But wow! was I glad I did.

This film is a show case of everything good about European cinema. Characters that the audience really care about with a gripping story which makes you laugh and cry, all carried by an everyday reality. Everything lacking from much of Hollywood's output.

Essentially the story covers the troubles of daily life of 3 generations, the young seeking sex, drugs and rock and roll. The middle aged repairing or seeking new relationships and the old saying goodbye. However what binds this story is the way the three generations interweave and rely on each other to get through.

I found this a really funny, touching film and a genuine must see.
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A great Spanish film about the important things of life
oriolp7 August 2005
This film contains more of the real Spain than any other that I've seen. Funny, lovely, sweet and about real life. Best film to remember your country and the important things of life when you're away. Fantastic script, but gonna be really difficult to translate... If at any point you can understand this film in Spanish, you won't need to pass any real language test. Actors do a superb job as well. Photography shows the Barcelona out of design made of the small warm and sweet feelings. Maybe you won't experience that when you will visit the city or Spain but that's what make a difference...And I hope we won't loose it...Enjoy it!
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Excellent example of humble and beautiful film making
anna-3925 June 2005
Far from trying to be smarter than it is, this beautiful little film actually achieves to be more honest and lyrical than most of the films on the market. It is a nostalgic, outstanding opera prima of its authors; an honest and caring photograph of a certain neighbourhood and its people. Although not neutral nor indifferent, it accomplishes to be non judgmental, and tells a story of people in different stages of life; the hidden secrets we all carry within and the solitude that accompanies us all. I highly recommend this film that is funny but never lightheaded, melancholic but never pretentious, humble but never loses its love for its characters with their imperfections and secrets. Like life itself. A joyful example of new European film making with heart and soul. 10 out of 10.
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Tapas, various stories from Barcelona
Camera-Obscura9 January 2007
This pleasant collage by first-time directors José Corbacho and Juan Cruz is made up of three loosely interwoven stories of various people in a Barcelona neighbourhood, with a tapas bar as the central location, where most characters' lives intertwine. The title not only refers to those small appetizers Spain is famous for, but also to the Spanish verb "tapar" which means to cover up, or to hide.

I found the story of Lolo, the bar owner, the most engaging. His wife abandoned him, he is full of prejudice against women and foreigners, cannot show his emotions and has developed a deeply rooted incapability of engaging in any meaningful relationships. He needs a new chef and ends up with Mao, a Chinese immigrant who's kungfu-ing all the time but is the most efficient cook he ever had and suddenly people are flocking to his bar because his dishes are actually really good now. Some of the insights springing from this story are a bit contrived. Lolo who's learning that not all Chinese are communists or illiterate paupers seems like 40 years too late to me, but somehow the actors and the low-key filming make even obnoxious Lolo seem sympathetic and near the end of the film, I really rooted for this man.

Rubén Ochandiano gives an exceptional performance as Ruben, a teen supermarket worker who engages in a sexual relationship with middle-aged shop owner Raquel (Elvira Menquez). A very talented young actor, a natural screen presence. I hope it ensues in more prominent roles in the foreseeable future.

It's all low-key and unpretentious, with sober direction and cinematography, but surprisingly effective. Many of its characters could easily have befallen victim to stereotypes but the cast does an amazing job to give this a real breath of fresh air. Hard to resist.

Camera Obscura --- 8/10
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Relations in different formats
eve_waessle11 September 2005
This is a film that shows the different love relations between common people in a neighbourhood around a Tapas-bar. The film keeps you tied to your seat, just wanting to see what's happening next, and takes you closer to people's feelings, and recapitulation of concepts in front of extreme situations that alter their reality. From the old lady who sells drugs in the Tapas-bar, afraid of loosing her husband. The owner of the bar, whose wife runs away tired of him, and he prefers to hide his new situation, the woman in the local shop, that lives on her own and keeps a relationship throughout internet but falls for a physical relation with a younger men, all spiced with a pinch of Spanish humour, reality and sadness. The cast is pretty good, the new talent Rubén Ochandiano, or consecrated actors such as Angel De Andrés López, Elvira Minguez or the Argentinian Alberto De Mendoza. All in all, it's a good taste of Spanish cinema, besides the world known imagination of Almodovar.
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Agreeable film deals with Barcelona neighborhood including enjoyable acting and slick filmmaking
ma-cortes2 October 2014
The flick gives a short description about lives of people under the focus of a lower-middle class neighborhood . The small, everyday stories of a group of neighbours who live in a suburb of Barcelona, and the little secrets that they hide . The tale introduces us an old marriage , as husband (Alberto De Mendoza) suffers cancer , as his wife (Maria Galiana) does business with dope , a spinster (Elvira Minguez) who falls in love for a young man (Ruben Ochandiano) , and a barman (Angel De Andres Lopez) who hires a Chinese boy expert on martial arts .

¨Tapas" turns out to be a moving drama well realized by Jose Corbacho and Juan Cruz about human relationships . This is an interesting Dramedy : drama more comedy in less than 90 minutes of length and yet with an air of naturalness and credibility . This is a thought-provoking as well as pleasant flick filmed with great sensitivity and feeling . The film knows very well inter-cross these two genres , drama with brief touches of comedy , although the most comfortable note in the enjoyable drama . It's less fun, but no less likable , though some infinite sadness follows the film at times . The film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable , with more traps the viewer resists any kind, and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few disconcerting . It's an intelligent and touching story although sometimes is slow moving and tiring but is finely developed with sense of style and sensibility . Attractive drama filled with emotion , artistic scenes and plenty of sensitivity . There are moments of humor, but predominates drama and above all, there's a good feeling . The picture relies heavily on the unusual relationship between a frustrated woman and a 20-year-old shopkeeper , but it doesn't makes boring , but results to be entertaining . This is an amusing movie plenty of nice feeling , drama , stirring scenes and a peculiar love story . Interesting screenplay by the same filmmakers , including some autobiographic elements . Most of the film locations are around the Santa Eulalia neighborhood in the city of Hospitalet De Llobregat which is the neighborhood where director José Corbacho grow up.

The picture is primarily supported on two sensational players, Alberto Mendoza and Maria Galiana they give sensational acting . Both of them carry out their characters to perfection and show a look that says it all . Furthermore , stand out Ángel de Andrés López as Lolo , Elvira Mínguez as Raquel and Rubén Ochandiano as César . Support cast is frankly well such as Blanca Apìlanez , Amparo Moreno and Rosario Pardo . Emotive musical score by Pablo Sala , the soundtrack flows great with the film in every way, and creates a catching atmosphere in every moment , adding a sensitive leitmotif . The film enjoys a breeze as well as moving final , and gives us much to think about it and in which doesn't deceive or dramatize unnecessarily. Along these lines, it is clear that writers/filmmakers Jose Corbacho, Juan Cruz try to create a peculiar picture . Apart from that , it has a touch Berlanga and Azcona that always feels good . The motion picture was professionally written and directed by Jose Corbacho and Juan Cruz at their best . Both of whom presents a fresh portrait with moments to smile and laugh , but mostly so that you shrink the heart with these unfortunate people . Corbacho and Cruz have written and directed various films and TV pictures such as ¨Pelotas¨, ¨Cobardes¨ , ¨Somos Gente Honrada¨ and ¨Holmes & Watson. Madrid Days¨, among others .
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An outstanding film
leg62028 April 2006
For an American, regularly exposed to American movies, "Tapas" is a unique and unusual experience. There are no special effects. There is no computer scenery. It is an Altman-like ensemble piece with closely related multiple story lines performed by the most talented of actors. The main characters include a middle-age divorcée looking for love, a bistro owner with a low opinion of the human race, two young supermarket stockers with party on their minds, an old lady who peddles drugs to finance her and her husband's declining years, and a Chinese chef. This is one of the most realistic and entertaining European movies that I've seen in some time. Highly recommended.
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a good surprise
dcldan19 September 2007
José COrbacho is a Spanish humorist known for his gross humour sense and scatological jokes. People was frightened about the film he could do in his opera prima. Unexpectedly, he astonished everybody with this film. No comedy, no bunch of stupid jokes mixed together. We can find a correct mixture of little stories that happen in a workers town (the one the directors are from, l'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona). Poor people with their fears and their hopes, their dreams and their desperation in order to survive in this life, always being able to face the world in an optimistic way. We can find the story of the old pair, that has to sell abuse drugs in order to pay the drags he needs for his cancer. The young pair whom only want to enjoy their lives, the barman that finds a new way of living when he contracts an Asian cooker. All these are little everyday stories, correctly filmed and with good acting. It has all the problems of the opera primas (lack of cash to spend, some scenes not totally thought) but it is a great surprise in Spanish cinema. If all his films are as good as this, I'll follow Corbacho's career as a director. A dramatic comedy of everyday stories, it is just a little film that wants to tell the existence of the "little unknown" people.
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Funny, sad and tender
Glauka13 May 2005
Tapas is a film, funny, sad, tender... There are different stories in a neighborhood of a big town. The story of the barman, the most pathetic and funny character, and his relationship with Mao, intelligent, patient, and almost perfect. The story of Cesar and Raquel, a young man and a middle age women, and at the same time her relationship by internet with another man. The story of Mariano and Conchi, the most sad situation. The story of Opo,the friend of Cesar, with tree basic things in his head, sex, drugs, and Bruce Lee. Good people doing bad things. The loneliness, the fear to the illness, the hope, the egoism, the meanness. Good dialogs and very good actors.
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Me gustas "Tapas"
johnny-083 December 2007
Here in Rijeka this month we've got a month of Spanish movies and on Friday night it was great choice to watch one Spanish movie. I love Spanish movies so I had great expectations from this one and first time directors Corbacho and Cruz did great job in my eyes. Their story is so real and very simple. We're actually watching 4 stories about lives of ordinary people in suburb of Barcelona. Lolo is owner of the main restaurant in town and his wife (cook in his restaurant) left him because he never really paid any attention for her, only for money. So Lolo hires Mao, Chinese who is a great cook. Raquel is middle-age woman who is very lonely (because her husband left her), so she keeps some sort of relationship with one man on internet. Doña Conchi and Don Mariano are one old couple, that are hit with news that Don Mariano is dying of cancer. Doña Conchi tries to make his life beautiful by selling low drugs to others. She gets money so she can buy him everything he needs. César and Opo are two teenagers who only wants to have some good time. Their conversations about sex, Bruce Lee and life are great. Main message of this movie is love. Cause love connects every character in this story.

"Tapas" is drama with elements of comedy and I really recommend it to everyone who wants to hear stories about life and love told in beautiful simplicity.
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Deep and warm
m6716526 September 2005
First of all: if you think sex with prostitutes and recreational use of illegal drugs are always bad actions, this movie is not for you. I'm not saying this movie is drenched in all that stuff. It actually is not. But it does treat these subjects as commonplace, at least for some people. And it does not judge them, even if it makes fun at them at times. I like that.

About the story and the looks of it: This is a movie that deals with some serious realities, mostly emotional ones, but with strong humorous overtones. I understand the story happens in a neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain, but it looks like somewhere the tourists do not know. This feels deep and warm. Very nice, in short.
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An absolutely must-watch
motta_g6 December 2016
An excellent film, specially if you visited Spain and learned about some of the common life there. Simple and beautiful half- dozen stories (some of them a bit hard to see) covering all human behaviors from racism to drug dealing, from love to hate, from humanism to materialism, you name it. What surprised me the most, is that everything seems to be absolutely unconnected at the beginning, however the plot is a really good one and when the end titles appear, you wouldn't believe you thought the connections were not uncovered before. If you like simple life, small neighborhoods, common people and those stories you may find at the end of the block, but with an incredible twist at last, you must watch this film. You'll love it.
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Lives Most of Us Can Recognize
leftbanker-16 April 2014
This is one of my favorite Spanish movies of all time. It could take place anywhere in Spain and the location is never mentioned in the film. You have to look and listen carefully to see that it is a neighborhood in Barcelona. It's just a bunch of normal people with the usual problems most of us must face at some point in our lives.

I think the word that I am looking for is authentic, an adjective that I rarely use when describing films. One reviewer called the neighborhood "lower middle class." Not really as in Spain it's really hard to tell the difference in incomes from one neighborhood to the next. Everyone lives at a good level and the modest jobs depicted in the movie are respected positions, as they should be.

Hollywood seems to have a huge problem depicting the lives of ordinary people. They always give normal slobs jobs like lawyers or ad executives and even if the characters have real jobs they always live in swell apartments with exposed brick and high ceilings. Spanish movies portray life as it is lived by the vast majority of Spanish people. They even look like you and me instead of stars airbrushed to within an inch of their lives.

And what's wrong with just being a normal person with an average apartment? I certainly hope that there's nothing wrong with that because it describes most of us, including me. Definitely.
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Great vision of Spanish people
monilasso-115 September 2007
I came across this movie as there was nothing else on TV. I missed the beginning, but I kept on watching as I found it really interesting. I'm from Barcelona myself and live, at the moment, in one of the suburbs here. The characters in this film couldn't be more Spanish, or should I say "Barcelonians"? The movie follows the lives of normal people, with normal jobs, as common as they could be: a bar owner (there's at least one bar in every street here), as stall owner (there are lots of markets as well) and an old couple struggling to survive (as it happens, pensioners don't have a lot of money also) Their lives intertwine magnificently and you really feel sorrow and happiness for them. The lives they live could be the ones from my neighbours next door, if you know what I mean. The two young guys that work in the shop just remind me to some of my friends; their language, expressions and their whole life styles. The bar man is exactly the way some bar men are here: sexist, ignorant, fat,... I mean, if you come to Barcelona all you'll see is Sagrada Familia, Ramblas, the beach...and will eat a lot of overpriced tapas. If you really want to know our life style, get the Metro to a place like the one in the film (which actually is Mercat Nou) such as Hospitalet or, where I live, Nou Barris. You'd actually meet some real people like the ones in the movie, plus eat well for a reasonable price as we do. I know, maybe I got a bit carried away, I'm supposed to talk about the movie, but I just loved it and thought it was better than all that Almodovar stuff as they're always about sex, transvestites or whores. Don't mean to offend anyone, but real Spanish people are pictured in "Tapas", not in an Almodovar film!
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