Review: ERES MI PASIÓN, Another Mediocre Mexican Rom-Com/Soccer Movie
Anwar Safa's Eres mi pasión opened in Mexico after Tuya, mía… Te la apuesto and Campeones, becoming the third and (hopefully) last Mexican movie about soccer released in the year of the Russia World Cup. This one in particular is derived from Argentina's El fútbol o yo, though at its core it has the same notion of Tuya, mía… Te la apuesto as well.
Both Mexican films -- I haven’t seen the Argentinean one, by the way -- are about a hardcore soccer aficionado whose personal life is being affected by his fanaticism. To expose this, Eres mi pasión, just like Tuya, mía… Te la apuesto, features, for example, a scene set during a funeral, in which the main character is secretly trying to follow the actions of a match.
There’s, again, a comedic approach to Mexico’s evident love for the sport, but on paper Eres mi pasión was peculiar because its protagonist, Pedro Gallo (Mauricio Isaac), is a fan of Cruz Azul, one of the most popular soccer teams in Mexico that has a rich history but a terrible present. Despite being the fourth most successful team in the Mexican league, with eight titles, Cruz Azul hasn’t won that championship since 1997, losing five finals in these 21 years, most of them in incredibly tragic ways. On top of that, since 2015 the Mexico City-based team has only one playoff appearance and, naturally, has been a target of a lot of mockery. Right now, there are journalists who question its greatness; however, many people remain loyal, waiting for la máquina celeste's awakening.
In Eres mi pasión, Pedro is one of those devotees, but his love for Cruz Azul becomes irrelevant almost right away, once he reveals himself as a soccer addict who admires and follows pretty much each and every league in the world. Aside of a few cameos from footballers, and a couple of scenes at Cruz Azul’s now-former stadium (which is set to be demolished this year), the particular and painful case of this beloved team is completely wasted by the movie.
Therefore it’s safe to say that from the point of view of a soccer fan, Eres mi pasión offers nothing much besides a cartoonish and unlikable “addict” and the interminable gag of the Mexican who does anything for the sport. It’s not a coincidence that Eres mi pasión is the second Mexican movie in 2018 about this subject matter, since Mexicans prove every four years that we are willing to ask for loans or do whatever it takes to travel to the World Cup. There’s juicy material there, no doubt, after all only four countries bought more tickets for the Russia World Cup than Mexico. But movies like Tuya, mía… Te la apuesto and Eres mi pasión aren’t interested at all in exploring this phenomenon. Mexico’s obsession with soccer is a mere pretext for -- in the particular case of the latter -- constant humor, off the topic and boring subplots, and the always reliable romantic comedy formula.
Once you accept that the Mexican mainstream is nowhere near to producing a relevant soccer movie, Eres mi pasión is nevertheless painful to watch. That is because its humor is basically based on an exercise to see how many soccer puns the writers could came up with (not to mention having popular commentator Christian Martinoli gratuitously narrating the actions of the protagonist!), its subplots range from Pedro’s “handsome” neighbor to his new friend from his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (yes, the film goes there), and all the problematic romance -- involving Gallo’s wife Luly (Mariana Treviño) -- is done by the book. Eres mi pasión is at times not really about soccer, at others is excessively/artificially about the sport (they can’t have a single piece of dialog without a soccer pun!), but is always mediocre entertainment.