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  • Alex First

Rosa's Wedding (M) - 99 minutes

A pleasantly distracting comedy, Rosa’s Wedding centres around a hard-working middle-aged woman who is spread too thin.


By that I mean she is selfless to the point of exhaustion.


She looks after everyone – family and friends all – other than herself.


About to turn 45, Rosa (Candela Peña) works long hours as a seamstress in the wardrobe department of a film production company in Valencia.

Besides the considerable pressure of her job, she is also besieged by the demands of family members.


That includes her perfectly healthy widowed father, Antonio (Ramón Barea) who decides – to her horror – that he wants to move in with her.


Her brother Armando (Sergi López) is separated from his wife and has spent all his time and energy building a school, so child minding – he has two kids – is left to Rosa.


Her possibly alcoholic sister Violetta (Nathalie Poza) is far too busy to take her father to important appointments, so that too is left to Rosa.


She also satisfies her boyfriend Rafa’s (Xavo Giménez) overtures.

Rosa has a prickly relationship with her grown daughter Lidia (Paula Usero), who lives in Manchester with her partner John and two babies, but is going through a rough patch of her own.


Lidia implores her mother not to tell her how to live her life.


And then there’s the small matter of constant favours – such as plant watering and pet minding and feeding – for neighbours and friends.


Then the realisation of what she has been doing all these years dawns on Rosa.


So, one day she packs it all in.


She decides to retreat to her childhood home in the scenic coastal town of Benicassim, where her mother had a small business working as a seamstress.


Rosa determines she wants to open the doors of that shop again.


But more than that she comes to the conclusion that she wants to get married.

Mind you, her upcoming nuptials are hardly conventional and they catch all who know her unawares.


It is the realisation of the latter that leads to laughs and smiles on our part.


The height of fantasy, Rosa’s Wedding is feel good entertainment built around understandable assumptions.


It is a film with warmth and joie de vivre.


Apart from a light-hearted script by Iciar Bollaín (who also directs) and Alicia Luna, it is the characters that make the picture what it is ... and there is no shortage of those.


Peña makes for an endearing centrepiece.


I also particularly appreciated López as her flummoxed brother.


Bollaín has imbued the film with the lightness of touch required to pull it off.

Rosa’s Wedding is a life-affirming call to self-empowerment and independence that deserves a loyal following.


It may be fluffy but the message of taking on too much and burning out isn’t lost.


Rated M, it scores a 6½ out of 10.