Surroundings upstage relationship in `Bella'

Review C-

October 26, 2007|By Gary Goldstein

Despite the presence of a lovely leading lady and an impossibly handsome co-lead, the most dazzling star of the quixotic Bella is actually New York City. Director Alejandro Monteverde presents the melting pot that is 21st-century Manhattan with an infectious vibrancy that makes you want to partake in the Big Apple's colorful ebullience.

If only that vitality carried over to the film's wispy script, which Monteverde wrote with Patrick Million and Leo Severino. Like they say, there's not much "there" there to this tale of two co-workers, haunted by very different tragedies, who come together on a fateful day and change each other's lives forever. Or so we're asked to believe, since the questionable way things evolve and play out strains credibility, even for a piece this fanciful.

Bella (Roadside Attractions) Starring Eduardo Verastegui, Tammy Blanchard. Directed by Alejandro Monteverde. Rated PG-13. Time 91 minutes.

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