Km. 0

In Puerta Del Sol in the heart of Madrid, there is a plaque that signifies "kilometer 0," the center of the city. According to co-writers and co-directors Yolanda Garcia Serrano and Juan Luis Iborra (Between Your Legs, The Love of a Man), lovers meet there for dates, trysts, or whatever. And in Km. 0, they follow a whopping fourteen people (more actually) as they meet for the first time at this romantic plaza. Because none of them know each other, it sets in motion a comedy of errors, as potential couples go off with the wrong people. The only couple to successfully pair off is gigolo Miguel (Jesus Cabrero, Extranos, No Shame) and bored older wife Marga (Concha Velasco, Paris-Timbuktu). However, afterwards, Marga comes to a horrible conclusion about his identity.

Pedro (Carlos Fuentes, El Vigilante) is an aspiring director who mistakes prostitute Tatiana (Elisa Matilla, El Ultimo Cuento) for his sister's friend, whom he is to stay with. Needless to say, he is very shocked with Tatiana's forward attitude. Meanwhile, his sister's friend Silvia (Merce Pons, Caresses), an aspiring actress, runs into famous director Gerardo (Georges Corraface, Word of Honor), and tries to get him to cast her in his next work. She's trying to woo him in Mario's (Tristan Ulloa, Sex and Lucia) cafe, just off the street. Tristan is ambivalent about his increasing commitment-minded girlfriend Amor (Silke, Merry Christmas), and Amor's underage sister (Cora Tiedra, Savages) has her own eyes set on Mario.

There are even more people, and the fact that the cast is enormous is both a good and a bad thing. It is good because a story like this always has to have everything fall into place, regardless of how unbelievable it is. Somehow, Serrano and Iborra will find somebody for everybody, and everybody will be happy. The way in which they go about this is fairly predictable, but Km. 0 manages to build up a decent amount of momentum to a happy, if not cheesy ending. The large cast hinders the film in that initially, the audience has no clue who is on screen. There are so many people and so many couples that figuring out if Person A got mixed with Person B is hard when they're still trying to get a grip on who each person is. In addition to the people mentioned above, there is Miguel's roommate, a virgin who is soon to be married, and a man looking for his internet date.

Sounds like a glut of men? Well, Km. 0 has no qualms about gay or straight pairs. It is refreshing in a sense that the 'gayness' of some of its characters is not played out or stereotyped. Yes, some of it is played for laughs, but for the most part, it is just a part of who the character is, and nobody seems to care. Another interesting thing to note is that the female characters, notably the ones played by Silke and Matilla, are the ones that stand out the most. Once it becomes clear who is who and who isn't who, things move at a quick clip. In other words, Km. 0 is a relatively painless romantic comedy

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 48 minutes, Spanish with English subtitles, Not Rated but contains nudity, language, and some sexual situations, an R.

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