You just can’t expect something truly remarkable from a Mexican romantic comedy starring Danna Paola. Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo, the first Mexican movie I had to sit through in 2018, is an average product made particularly for teenagers in the social media era who look up to this young and famous singer/model/actress.
In the movie, Danna Paola plays a 17-year-old girl who is secretly in love with a much older man: her big brother’s childhood friend. While our protagonist is ready to make her love confession, a conflict will obviously emerge: the guy gets engaged to a woman who’s not only gorgeous, but also intelligent and kind.
Since the movie was sponsored by the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta, the main plotline happens there, during a beach vacation shared by every important character. In terms of structure and themes, Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo offers exactly the norm, with Paola’s character, blinded by love and jealousy, making a huge mistake before learning her lesson. Predictable and forgettable stuff, worsen by the elements that, I would imagine, were highly creative in the mind of writer/director Rene Bueno.
For some odd reason, Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo is a constant display of gratuitous film references. The opening credits sequence is a homage to film classics such as Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho; later on, there are dialogs from Titanic and full scenes done in the style of disco era seminal work Saturday Night Fever, the film noir, and even silent cinema. Add to this a voice over narration and a protagonist that breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, and indeed you have a cheap attempt to elevate a formulaic story through style. Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese cringe!
Then we have the now usual dose of shameless product placement, worthy of the most laughable telenovelas; it’s damn obvious that a dog food brand, a Mexican university, a cosmetics label and of course the city of Puerto Vallarta gave good money to the producers. Yet these moments at least have a clear (commercial) purpose, as the script is chock-full of senseless scenes.
Let me put it this way: there’s a sequence in which the young girl in love is looking for inspiration at, of all places, a museum, when - out of fucking nowhere - she meets a goth chick who right away becomes her sort of love adviser! Let’s just hope Mexican popular cinema gets a little more coherent in the next 12 months…