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Pilar Lpez de Ayala in Sidewalls
Pilar Lpez de Ayala in Sidewalls

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Martin (Drolas) is a Web designer whose closest friend is his ex's dog. Mariana (Lpez de Ayala) is a department-store window dresser who prefers the company of a male mannequin over her bad-romance boyfriend. Both are lonely souls lost amidst the urban bustle of Buenos Aires. Both love to ruminate in voiceover about how modern architecture is specifically designed to disconnect human beings from each other. Both are rife with neuroses and phobias regarding everything from elevators to the outside world, though nothing scares them more than intimacy. They are, of course, perfect for each other. It isn't a question of "will they meet and fall in love?" so much as how many of their respective bad dates and cloyingly cute observations about life we'll have to endure before they finally do.

Argentine director Gustavo Taretto is no stranger to being smitten, having composed this exercise in diabetic rom-com cuteness as a montage-filled mash note to his home town. (No sooner do you start thinking that those cityscapes resemble Woody Allen's Gotham gushing in Manhattan than along comes an excerpt from that film's epilogue.) For all the film's region-specific swooning, however, Sidewalls' lingua franca is the universal language of quirk and pop-cultural references. It's hard to truly hate any movie whose ending revolves around a clever Where's Waldo? gag. It's also near impossible to take it seriously for that exact same reason.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

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Written by David Fear
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