Author: Cindy Tang
Juan Manuel Bernal
Canesada de Besar Sapros (aka Tired of Kissing Frogs [US]) follows the story of Martha (Ana Sarradilla), a young interior designer who decides the best approach to remedy the heartbreak caused by her cheating bastard of an ex-boyfriend is to potentially break some hearts herself. She decides that if men can be “womanizers,” then she can beat them at their own game by becoming a “menizer” with the help of an online dating website called “Tired of Kissing Frogs.”
After enjoying the initial exhilaration from her multiple suitors and whirlwind rendezvous, Martha soon finds herself a tad polarized from love. True to romantic comedy form, she finally realizes Prince Charming has been right under her nose the entire time, but her actions may have gone one leap too far.
Tired of kissing frogs? Well, I’m tired of predictable romantic comedies. The film is a flurry of comical over-the-top antics and one-liners that don’t particularly promote deep thought, but they at least keep the audience mostly awake.
The story becomes dull and dawdling quite soon as it lingers too long on Martha’s many men and her repetitive adventures surrounded by the dazzling backdrop of Mexico City. Nevertheless, the film maintains constant visual interest by utilizing jump cuts and moving music montages.
In spite of the predictability of the plot, Canesada de Besar Sapros presents a fresh and funny cast with an archetypal but amusing troupe of supporting sideshow characters. Brimming with personalities such as the head case of a psychologist neighbor, the flirtatious gay best friend and the confidant, quiet but inconspicuously kinky coworker, the film delivers a laugh-out-loud ensemble that offers Serradilla the perfect support.
Serradilla, the star of the current Mexican version of Desperate Housewives, draws the audience in with her bubbly, endearing qualities and character arc as she learns to love again with the help (or should I say hindrance) of the online dating site. On the other hand, Martha’s eventual love interest is Xavier the aspiring actor working at Martha’s uncle’s coffee shop. Played by José María de Tavira, the character is endearing, but lacks believability in his dull, one-dimensional performance.
Martha’s polyamorous dating via the online dating site is the only refreshing feature in the film. The idea of her taking charge of her dating life and having the freedom to enjoy the company of whoever and however many men she pleases was certainly satisfying to watch.
However, the potential empowerment is lost when Martha unsurprisingly realizes that serial dating is unsatisfying and in fact damaging to not only her love life but to her professional and personal life as well. She, in true Hitchcock sadist form, eventually learns her lesson after hurting the one she loves, and must prove herself a changed woman.
Director Jorge Colon gives the classic romantic comedy a much needed 21st-century upgrade by injecting modern lifestyle facets such as anonymous online dating and female serial daters.
Set in modern day Mexico City, Canesada de Besar Sapros shines a new light on the metropolis. Instead of the sex, drugs and dark underbelly of crime usually portrayed in films located in Mexico City, the audience is presented with a flourish of artwork and cafés. Along with a rock soundtrack and a special appearance by famous Mexican rock band La Quinta Estacion, the film gives a hip and contemporary twist to your typical romantic comedy.
Although predictable and drawn out at times, Canesada de Besar Sapros is a welcome shift from the slew of witless American romantic comedies. This is the perfect film for the hurt but hopeful, or just a girls’ night out.
Canesada de Besar Sapros is a cute romantic comedy that doesn’t completely croak.
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