Ma ma movie poster

It’s love at first faint between an unemployed soccer mom (Penélope Cruz), who just moments before was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, and a professional sports scout (Luis Tosar)/recent recipient of news that a car crash claimed the life of his wife and left his daughter in a coma. It only gets more depressing from here. It’s one thing for writer-director Julio Medem (Sex and Lucia) to lead his cancer-stricken heroine blindly into the light — she never once evidences so much as a hint of ill feelings toward her predicament — another to leave the audience in the dark during the process. The generally trustworthy actress (she also produced) tries hard, but even Cruz can’t pull off what isn’t there to begin with. Character development soon takes a back seat to suds, leaving little more than a condemnable bid to increase Kleenex sales. And not unlike Ali MacGraw in the equally apocryphal Love Story, the closer our heroine inches toward death’s door, the more physically attractive she becomes. Phooey! 2016.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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