Romantic comedies seem to have soured more than most movie genres. It could be due to their insistence on happy endings, or perhaps it's the rigid structure that demands easily avoidable conflict followed by the protagonist breathlessly chasing down his or her true love just in time for the end credits. Whatever the reasons, if the romantic comedy is to survive and provide awkward first date nights for future generations, it will need filmmakers willing to push these boundaries -- filmmakers like Catalina Aguilar Mastretta, the writer/director of Everybody Loves Somebody.
Los Angeles OB-GYN Clara (Karla Souza) leads a satisfying and (mostly) solitary existence that is occasionally interrupted by one-night stands she abandons as soon as the sun comes up. She has her reasons, of course: Raised by unmarried parents and abandoned by Daniel (José María Yazpik), the only man she ever really loved, Clara's not big on commitment. When her parents finally decide to tie the knot after 40 years together, she reluctantly takes sister Abby's advice and invites Asher (Ben O'Toole), a pediatrician co-worker, to the Mexican wedding. Unfortunately, her not-so-carefully-laid plans hit the fan when Daniel makes a surprise appearance.
Yes, the framework is familiar, but Mastretta's affecting script and realistic performances from Souza and Tiaré Scanda (as married with children sister Abby) offer enough motivation for us to stay engaged. The characters also exhibit some welcome depth. Not everything works, but, Mastretta is firming up her reputation as a master of the understated "amusing love" movie (there are only so many ways to say "romantic comedy").