The Sundance catalogue lists "Summer Rain" (Spanish title: "El Camino de los ingleses") as actor Antonio Banderas‘ feature-film directorial debut, possibly as an attempt at effacing "Crazy in Alabama" from the collective memory forever. Maybe it was the flu that would later in the day and only ten minutes into "Hounddog" send us scrambling over rows of seats and irritated colleagues and running for the bathroom (a reaction unrelated to the quality of the film â€” what little we saw was neither promising nor bad enough to provoke vomiting), but we couldn’t make head or tail of "Summer Rain." Alberto Amarilla plays Miguelito, a young man bumming around MÃ¡laga with a few friends in the 70s. In the opening scenes, he’s on the operating table artily having a kidney removed, and the near-death experience inspires him to declare that what he really wants in life is to be a poet. Throughout the largely episodic film (which is based on a novel by Antonio Soler), everyone in the town refers to his poetic aspirations, though he doesn’t get around to actually writing anything. Instead, he obsesses over Dante’s "Inferno," romances would-be ballerina Luli (MarÃa Ruiz) and hangs around the pool and a local bar interacting with other locals, each with a different nickname. There’s a hot chick named "The Body"; an aspiring DJ named "Throat" who provides a running, nonsensical voiceover; an aging bombshell called "Iron Helmet" (Victoria Abril); and a toady named "The Dwarf." The cumulative affect is like sitting through a haphazard splice of the worst aspects of both AlmodÃ³var and "American Pie."
+ "Summer Rain" (Sundance)