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Askew Review 15

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. DVD. 2003. aka Juana la Loca  Drama. 120 minutes. Rated R, brief nudity, sexual situation. In Spanish with English or French subtitles. Shortly after sending Columbus on his voyage for the new world, Spain’s Queen Isabella sends her young (and hot) daughter, Joan, away for an arranged marriage to Archduke Phillip. Reluctant at first, Joan quickly accepts her position as Phillip’s wife and almost instantly begins to have babies. Falling more and more passionately in love with Phillip, Joan is devastated to learn of her husband’s sexual escapades with other women. Over come with jealousy and anger, Joan’s behavior turns a bit obsessive and at times, unruly. Worried about her mental wellness, Phillip and his “people” try to have Joan, now a Queen, dethroned and locked away forever.
Perplexing movie, indeed. The acting, production, and over all quality is stunning. However, the story absolutely crawled and is basically redundant. Phil would cheat, Joan would get jealous and pissed. Phil would cheat, Joan would get even more jealous and pissed. This happened over and over. Honestly, what did Joan expect? Like Bill Clinton, didn’t all royalty screw everything within reach back in those days? Aside from a few, minor side stories (where we get to witness Joan and Phil at their worst) and an all too quick ending, Mad Love has a storyline, albeit more eloquent, fit for The Jerry Springer Show. Pilar López de Ayala is absolutely stunning, while also being a great psycho wife, as Joan. If you like movies dealing with this time period, you’ll dig Mad Love. If you love movies that depict men as over sexed womanizers, you’ll dig Mad Love. If you love action packed movies with more twists and turns than a drunken Britney Spears slipping on a banana peel, you won’t dig Mad Love. – Denis Sheehan



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