Spain, late 1950s. ‘Europeans’ is the story of Miguel Alonso, who makes a living as a draftsman, and Antonio, his boss’s stupid son who drags him to Ibiza for the summer, where they have told him about how easy it is to flirt with Europeans …
‘Europeans’ is a manners film with an old flavor that is very simple. So much so that what could be good at first turns out to be rather bad due to that very reason, its theoretical and practical simplicity. Because from simple to simple there is not much; especially when, as is the case, it is more about describing a moment in time than telling, properly speaking, a story that is nothing more than the frame of the image.
A moment from which, as if it were a photograph, as much life can emanate as nothing can emanate. Juan Diego Botto and Stéphane Caillard put some brilliance on it, but neither the script nor the direction, nor the subdued character of Raúl Arévalo make this static image transmit movement. If we often say in a colloquial way that a movie “lacks something”, ‘Europeans’ is that film that lacks “that something”. Whatever is.
A simple and flat story that ends up getting heavy, except that maybe, I suppose, memories of oneself can throw some life on the screen. Too simple and flat, too correct and static. The film is presented before us as if it were a thawed Coca-Cola flax. Like one of those artificial studio poses that pretend to be improvised when all they project is a group of soulless mannequins.