February 7, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Review: brothers take a goofy road trip across Argentina in 'Mariage a Mendoza'

Phillipe Rebbot, left, and Nicolas Duvauchelle in 'Mariage a Mendoza.' (Cinema Detroit)

Give “Mariage a Mendoza” this: It never stands still.

What starts out looking like a wacky road trip involving two mismatched brothers ends up veering through discussions of mental illness, bereavement, sterility, meteorites, sibling rivalry and divorce. The film includes prostitutes, a Scottish ballad, a gunshot wound, cocaine, car thieves, a runaway girl and a groom who balks at the altar.

And, oh yeah, this is a French movie shot in Argentina with dialogue in Spanish, French and English and a soundtrack dotted with English songs. Got that?

The mismatched brothers are Marcus (Phillipe Rebbot) and Antoine (Nicolas Duvauchelle), who share the same mother but different fathers. Marcus is older, darker and much taller and unkempt. Antoine is blond, handsome and heartbroken since his wife has just dumped him.

They arrive in Buenos Aires set to travel hundreds of miles to the wedding of a cousin. After some hijinks in the big city, they set out by car, somehow having acquired a hotel clerk named Gonzalo (Gustavo Kamenetzky) as a guide. After drinking too much in wine country, the three stop at an inn that just happens to be run by Gonzalo’s ex-wife. Bad move.

When they take rather hurriedly to the road, a former French literature student named Gabriela (Paloma Contreras) has joined in the role of nurse and designated hottie. Romance blooms as they travel, revelations come to pass and the brothers bond.

Understand, the production values here are hardly slick. But this is director and co-writer Edouard Deluc’s first feature and its ping-pong nature is somewhat charming. Antoine and Marcus are complementary balls of confusion, each holding up the other at times, often literally. True, “Mariage a Mendoza” is sort of scattered and crazy. But there are worse things to be.

'Mariage a Mendoza'


Not rated

Running time: 91 minutes


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