Life in New York has its ups and downs

IT is hard to think there would ever be a time I would tire of seeing a film set in the Big Apple.

Scenes filmed against a backdrop of the city that never sleeps, from the Manhattan skyline and bright lights of Broadway to residential rooftop gardens.

So it was exciting to see The Unexpected Life (La Vida Inesperada) programmed in this year�s Spanish Film Festival, an international co-production between Spain and the USA with English subtitles.

The film follows the Spanish immigrant experience of Juanito (C�mara) who for the past 10 years has scraped by in New York pursuing his first passion, acting, but never quite getting his big break and subsidising his income working as a waiter and teaching Spanish cooking classes (despite having no cooking experience).

Juanito�s life is humming along until estranged cousin Primo (Ra�l Ar�valo) visits from the motherland and disrupts his routine.

The clunky script tries to examine what it means to be a Spaniard living in New York, and at times does this quite well, but it also leaves the viewer slightly underwhelmed.

The off-beat romantic comedy tackles an interesting subject, is a little lacking in cohesive storyline but makes up for it with the pulse of the urban concrete jungle.

The Unexpected Life (La Vida Inesperada) is showing at Cinema Paradiso, Northbridge on Sunday, May 3.

The Spanish Film Festival is showing now until May 6. Full program at www.spanishfilmfestival.com.

The Unexpected Life (18+)

Director: Jorge Torregrossa

Starring: Javier C�mara, Ra�l Ar�valo

Three stars