Football Days

Film

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Time Out says

Tue Aug 9 2005

Inspired by prison therapy that has helped him control his violent temper, newly released Antonio (Ernesto Alterio) decides to become a psychologist. The first beneficiaries of his threatening approach to counselling are his five friends, a bunch of ineffectual thirtysomethings who include mummy’s boy Gonzalo, policeman and wannabe musician Miguel and Jorge, who’s been dumped by Antonio’s sister Violeta. To help Jorge, Antonio suggests they all join a seven-a-side football league. Serrano’s men-undergoing-midlife-crises comedy has already proved popular in Spain. It’s broad stuff, but not without charm, though the characters’ on-pitch tribulations fail to give the film the solid focus the title would suggest. However, the ragbag of plot strands – which takes in training piglets, venereal disease and public fellatio – is bolstered by some laugh-out-loud slapstick moments and a healthy dose of cruelty that helps stave off sentimentality.

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