La Mujer de Mi Hermano

Opens at Meridian and others, Fri., May 5. Rated R. 93 minutes.

With a plot so old it could have been scraped off cave walls, this Latin American psychodrama pits desperate housewife Zoë (Bárbara Mori) against frigid husband Ignacio (Christian Meier). The punch line: He'll have sex with her only on Saturdays. (Plus, Zoë wants a baby, and Ignacio fires blanks.) Their gorgeous, glass-and-concrete modern home is misery on ice. Enter Ignacio's brother Gonzalo (Manolo Cardona), a prodigal artist who drinks, paints, sexes up the ladies, and mooches off Ignacio while treating him like caca. Gonzalo has his reasons, and the movie gets interesting once they're revealed. But that, like everything else, takes way too long. Part of La Mujer's problem is its pace: Everything happens so slowly, and so meaningfully, that we see it coming for miles. Also, none of the three principals is remotely likable until the end, when their actions begin to make sense. Still, if you can stand everything leading up to them, La Mujer's final scenes enact a clever and emotionally rewarding resurrection.

 
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