2+2 Movie Review: Something About These Swingers Doesn’t Add Up

A pompous yet dull sex comedy from Argentina, 2+2 is more exasperating than entertaining. It is apparently the highest-grossing comedy ever in the South American country, but it lumbers around like every predictable and sloppy farce on the subject and has little of import to say. On top of that, it asks the audience to bond with unrealistic characters.

There have been many movies to ostensibly decry the pitfalls of the dreaded monogamous relationship only to back down for the big finish. 2+2 is no different from the rest. Apart from being an unoriginal glimpse at swinging, it features characters that are nearly impossible to relate to and situations that are more predictable than they are comedic.

Adrian Auar is Diego and Julieta Diaz is Emilia. They have been married for some time. He is a doctor and she is the local weatherwoman. They are friends with fashion designer Betina (Carla Peterson) and another doctor Richard (Juan Minujin). One day while out celebrating something or other, Betina lets slip that she and Richard are swingers.

This immediately enflames Emilia’s curiosity and she blindsides Diego with the desire to try it out as well. Ignoring his obvious discomfort with the idea, she leads him into the lifestyle and they begin to participate to “hilariously erotic results.” Part of the supposed comedy comes from hiding the swinging from Diego and Emilia’s mostly neglected 14-year-old son (Tomas Wicz).

Diego is the only character who expresses any reservation to the idea of swinging, which puts the comic onus on him. He is responsible for resisting the advances of his friends of 15+ years and he is responsible for attempting to at least make some sense out of the newly proposed arrangement. Suar does his best bourgeois Woody Allen in the role, but it’s not enough.

Of course, the pliable Emilia has no desire to listen to his concerns or validate his reservations. His friends are cut from the same cloth and, instead of a free conversation about sex, 2+2 participates in hip babble about the “beauty” and “love” of the regime until it’s too late. When other concerns come bubbling to the surface over the movie’s latter portion, the previous exposition goes limp.

So what we have with 2+2 is a film without much forthrightness, character, realism, and sex appeal. Despite its line-up of miserably pretty lead characters living the high life, most of the sexually-charged scenes feel like glossy colour-by-numbers outlines more than expressions of rawness. Consider the carefully-placed appendages during one post-coital junket or the jazzy soundtrack that escorts most scenes.

This careful construct clangs immediately with the film’s self-described love affair with the autonomy found in free sexual expression. Pile on the ending and its essentially rearing-head of suspicion (coming from just the right melodramatic place to satisfy a mass audience while aptly sacrificing the right lamb) and you’ve got the expected climax.

There is indeed a point to be made about the tedium of the so-called “normal life” and the problem of emotional confusion, I suppose, but 2+2 fails to do so in any eloquent fashion. That leaves it to lean mostly on its farcical elements, something it can’t achieve because the characters are too prosperous, too beautiful and too big-headed to resonate.

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Critical curmudgeon

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