The sexual revolution meets a bumbling door-to-door salesman and his beautician wife in the form of "educational" sex films in this satiric comedy, set in Spain in 1973. Alfredo Lopez (Javier Cámara) is an encyclopedia salesman… More The sexual revolution meets a bumbling door-to-door salesman and his beautician wife in the form of "educational" sex films in this satiric comedy, set in Spain in 1973. Alfredo Lopez (Javier Cámara) is an encyclopedia salesman whose work has not been going especially well lately, which is worrisome to his wife, Carmen (Candela Peña), who is eager to have a baby. As it happens, encyclopedia sales have been dismal overall, and publisher Don Carlos (Juan Diego) strikes upon an idea for a more lucrative product line -- an "audiovisual encyclopedia of human reproduction," consisting of 8 mm movies demonstrating different ways for couples to make love. Don Carlos sets up a meeting between his sales staff and Dennis (Thomas Bo Larsen), a pornographer from Denmark who likes to tell people he once worked with Ingmar Bergman. While most of the salesmen refuse to have anything to do with Don Carlos' new scheme -- especially since pornography is strictly illegal under the Franco regime -- Alfredo grudgingly goes along, and despite initial misgivings Carmen is drafted to star in the first film in the series. As the films become an underground success in Spain and earn a more high-profile reputation in Denmark, Carmen is recognized in public as a glamorous porn star, and Alfredo deludes himself into believing he and Dennis are making art films. But Alfredo's ambitions get the better of him when he begins writing a screenplay for a serious feature film and Carmen becomes increasingly obsessed with having a child. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Consensus: A light tale that's big on heart, this spicy snapshot of domestic sexuality in '70s Spain treats its wacky protagonists with enough gentle humanity to be delightfully entertaining.