Love in the Time of Cholera

Rated 2.0

Love at first sight haunts a young man (Javier Bardem, with Unax Ugalde playing him as a teenager) for over 50 years, even as his beloved (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) marries a doctor (Benjamin Bratt) and raises a large family. Gabriel García Márquez’s novel gets an earnest but maladroit filming by writer Ronald Harwood and director Mike Newell. The movie is disjointed and plodding; scene after scene misfires in doleful tropical mooniness, and unwanted snickers are common. Newell has his actors—even those with flawless English—speak with thick South American accents, setting up a needless barrier to Anglo audiences, while extras speak Spanish in the background. (Note to Newell: Nobody speaks their native language with a foreign accent.) The result detracts from authenticity rather than adding to it.