Like its bilingual heroine, the multi-culti romantic comedy “Everybody Loves Somebody” breezily bounces back and forth from Baja to Los Angeles, and it’s a pleasant diversion on both sides of the border.
In a nifty opening sequence, gifted gynecologist Clara (Karla Souza, very good) tells us in Spanish about her train wreck of a love life. As she reveals her irrational fear of commitment, we see her working with her patients in English at a hospital in L.A.
Clara seeks refuge in one-night stands, but this ploy goes south when her parents, after two children and 40 years of living together, decide to finally tie the knot, and Clara feels obligated to bring a date to the wedding in Mexico. She picks interested Aussie intern Asher (Ben O’Toole, quite appealing), and they have an instant rapport. Yet things get muy complicado, naturalmente, after Clara’s old boyfriend, Daniel (Jose Maria Yazpik), shows up, and a messy love triangle develops.
This is hardly a groundbreaking story, but writer/director Catalina Aguilar Mastretta has assembled an appealing cast, and her intelligently written script keeps things interesting. The dazzling Souza, in particular, delivers a fine comic performance: Even though Clara does some unsavory things, we still root for her to find love — not an easy feat for an actor to pull off. Think of Julia Roberts in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
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Mastretta gets considerable mileage out of her bilingual concept, but it’s never forced, and we enjoy being in both of Clara’s worlds. Ironically, or perhaps not, Baja comes off as paradise, and Los Angeles comes off as, well, Los Angeles. But Mastretta isn’t interested in making statements as much as entertaining us.
Does she pull it off? The answer is a definite si.
(At Cinemark Merriam.)
‘Everybody Loves Somebody’
Rated PG-13. Time: 1:42.
Some Spanish with subtitles.