Review: TANTA AGUA, A Fine Tuned Familial Comedy from Uruguay
As the focus of the film moves from Al to Lu, Tanta Agua becomes a sort of an adolescent summer fling story. A sullen preteen with braces, Lu embodies a normal girl of her age who is not yet rebellious but not so keen on taking trips with her parent. She is discovering boys and cigarette. She befriends with another vacationing girl Suzanna and starts flirting with a hunky boy with a bike. But she soon finds out that the boy is using her to get closer to prettier Suzanna. After the boy asks her to come to the local disco and bring her pretty friend along, Lu lies to Al and ditches her friend so she can go to the disco alone.
Uruguayan directors Ana Guevara and Letitia Jorge acutely observes the normal modern family dynamics. The devil is in the details- Al secretly dumps mom's sandwiches while the kids are sleeping, Lu finds string of condoms in Al's suitcase, Lu's wearing her best friend's flaming high tops.
Tanta Agua is a light, gentle comedy that speaks universal language. But it's not Little Miss Sunshine. There are no big revelations here- no one acts out in frenzy or learns life altering lessons. It just has subtly drawn characters who are real and have normal problems. The film is a fine tuned familial comedy full of awkward moments but also great deal of tenderness.
Tanta Agua garnered top prizes at Miami International Film Fest last year, played as part of Latin Beat 2013 and will be available on DVD and VOD on May 13 in North America by Film Movement. Please visit Film Movement website for more information.
Dustin Chang is a freelance writer. His musings and opinions on the world can be found at www.dustinchang.com