Football Days Review

Antonio (Ernesto Alterio) is just out of prison. Enthused by anger-management therapy sessions, he decides to become a psychiatrist. When his sister Violeta (Natalia Verbeke) dumps Jorge (Alberto San Juan), Antonio decides that the best way of cheering everyone up would be to start a seven-a-side football team. The name? Brazil. The objective? Winning the league. The results? Disastrous.

Football Days (Días de Fútbol) was a big hit in its native Spain, and was nominated for five Goya Awards, with Fernando Tejero winning for Best New Actor. It’s a broad, and not especially elevated, comedy and manages to avoid crassness. Despite the title, it’s not really a sports movie, more a comedy about a group of men going through mid-life crises. Along the way, there’s a lot of (subtitled) swearing and sex jokes, not to mention a fair measure of slapstick.

There’s not a great deal of difference between this and many R-rated mainstream comedies, though Football Days manages to avoid the worst excesses of Hollywood crassness – and it’s not just because this is a foreign-language film you’re watching in an arthouse rather than with a Friday-night crowd in a multiplex. However, and this may be a case of humour not travelling well across national boundaries – or quite possibly some lack in my sense of it – but ultimately Football Days seems unremarkable. It also obeys the rule of thumb that mainstream comedies are overlong by the amount their running time exceeds ninety minutes.



out of 10
Category Film Review

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