Spain may have conquered Latin America and carted away its precious metals for several centuries, but roles are hilariously reversed when a salsa-dancing Latina conquers a vacationing Spaniard and steals his heart in Spanish director Chus Gutierrez’s latest feature, Ciudad Delirio,
Okay, admittedly this might not be the best angle for promoting this – or any – film (colonialism doesn’t traditionally fare-well in advertising focus groups), but it almost gets the point across. Although, rather than a highly conceptual parable of reverse colonization, this salsa-infused Colombian-Spanish co-production seems more like a sugary-sweet crowd-pleaser with a heart.
Following a straight down-the-line rom-com formula, Ciudad Delirio finds a young, single, and sufficiently handsome doctor named Javier falling hopelessly head over heels for a sultry Colombian salsera while visiting her country on a professional conference. A few highly choreographed dance numbers later and Javier learns about letting go and following his intuition just in time to head back to Madre España. But wouldntcha know it, even back in Spain Javier’s heart continues beating to the seductive rhythms of the clave, and before too long he’s following his intuitions back to Colombia in the name of true love. Call it Love Actually meets Nuestra Cosa Latina.
Judging from the trailer, Ciudad Delirio features more than its fair-share of colorful stage lights, confetti, and sequins — employing the sumptuous visual flair of salsa spectacle to accompany its highly stylized dance sequences (choreographed by fellow Andaluza and contemporary dance heavyweight, Blanca Li.) But other than the Busby Berkeley-worthy musical bits and Fania-approved soundtrack, Ciudad Delirio promises to be a handsomely shot and unapologetically straightforward romantic comedy for those nights when you just want to laugh, cry, dance, and believe for 90 short minutes that true love conquers all.