Kiki, Love to Love
Aida Vucic | 02/05/2017
Kiki, Love to Love is progressive, bold, quick and, above all else, hilarious. It’s an anthology piece that effortlessly shifts between five interrelated stories of peoples varying erotic fetishes.
We’re introduced first to Alex (Alex Garcia) (most characters have their actors’ names) and Natalia (Natalia Molina). After an animalistic sex-capade, Natalia confesses that she recently experienced an orgasm whilst being robbed at knifepoint; an experience Alex is eager to recreate for her. Then there’s Ana (Ana Katz) and Paco (Leon), a happily married couple that are looking to reignite their sex life and who better than to assist than Belen (Belen Cuesta). Meanwhile, Antonio (Luis Callejo) and Maria Candelaria are struggling to get pregnant. With no obvious cause preventing them, the obstetrician advises that having an orgasm during intercourse will increase their chances of conception, Maria discovers the sight of people crying provokes this reaction in her, leading to hilarious results.
If those stories aren’t obscure enough, there’s Jose Luis (Luis Bermejo); a plastic surgeon who has an affection for sleeping people, which sees him drugging his unsuspecting wheel-chair ridden wife Paloma (Mary Paz Sayago) and indulging in some comedic nightly antics. Finally, Sandra (Alexandra Jimenez) is a deaf, neurotic, cloth-fetishist with a large iguana, whose job as a phone interpreter for the deaf sees her using her signing skills during an erotic phone operator conversation. Mixed amongst these stories are short extracts of other stories, including the distribution of worn female panties, as well as a comedic non-consensual peeing scene.
Paco Leon borrows the original story from Josh Lawson’s Australian sex comedy The Little Death but makes it his own. The Spanish influence means the film feels more natural than its precursor. The frankness of the Spanish and their flamboyancy make this version feel like a celebration of differences. The film challenges the “norm”, liberating us from our conservative idealisms and social pressure to conform and condemn ourselves to a life of vanilla.
The film is vibrant, with rapid editing and short sequence giving the piece an energetic feel that is in rhythm with the racy Latin beats that accompany it. Likewise the dialogue is undeniably rhythmic, repetitive and fast, and it is a surprise that the movie successfully is able to be translated to encompass all of it’s rapid fire back-and-forth dialogue in subtitle form to an English-speaking audience. The opening prelude in itself is an excellent visual feat, amalgamating the cast with wild animals, in the throes of passion; an analogy to the primal instinct this film draws its inspiration from.
The cast is uniformly good, bringing the right blend of comedy, drama and sex-appeal to this piece. Even Paco Leon, pulling double duty as director and star, doesn’t grate as an on-screen presence. If there are weaknesses, they are predominantly flaws that encompass most anthology pieces; not enough character development, too many stories leaving you wanting more of each but feeling underserved by what there is. They are gripes we’ve heard before about every anthology piece from Love Actually to Paris J’taime. But where those movies took love very seriously, here, Paco Leon serves up a visually sumptuous comedic feast that will have you in stitches, and the movie is all the better for it’s irreverent take on the subject.
As scandalous as its R rating, Kiki, Love to Love is not for the reserved and at times may even challenge the most liberated of us, but it’ll also have you roaring with laughter. A well-crafted erotic-comedy, which pushes boundaries and commemorates the human condition