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Writer and director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) offers up this poignant and cutting romantic 1990 comedy set in the magical southern Spanish metropolis, a city in the midst of cultural and political upheaval. Taylor Nichols (Metropolitan) plays an American living in the Catalonian capital working for a stateside company. He is visited by his unctuous cousin (Chris Eigeman), a naval attaché who's in Barcelona to spin a little public relations for the impending arrival of the U.S. fleet amid some virulent left-wing, anti-American attitude. The two cousins are constantly at odds, arguing about everything from politics to women to their true feelings for one another and their constant self-examination. Largely the two men spend their time in search of romance abroad, as they humorously overanalyze the women they meet and what they want from a relationship, until fate takes a shocking turn and both men are forced to reevaluate who they are and what they want out of life. Barcelona features a turn from Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) as a Spanish national working as a hostess, free with her sexuality and smitten with Eigeman. Stillman's writing is as crisp and observant as his striking visual take on the city and its people, both natives and expatriates. Barcelona is a terrific comedy of attitudes and culture clashes that manages to be offbeat, sardonic, and unexpectedly wise. --Robert Lane
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