Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I normally enjoy these Spanish comedies, and this one has some interesting moments, but overall it isn't a good use of your time to watch this until they do a better job on the DVD. The DVD transfer, or the source medium, is nasty. It's blurry and the colors are faded, even though it is a 1998 movie. It is not anamorphically enhanced. 


one brief topless shot of an anonymous mistress

Cruz appears in her underwear, but little is revealed

I liked the director's earlier movie (Why Do They Call It Love?) more than this one, although maybe because this one is so mainstream. If you'll recall, the other one was the film where the rich guy becomes a porn star to be with his girlfriend, and they end up tearfully reuniting on Christmas Eve - in a peep show booth, in front of a dozen masturbating guys who think it has been staged for them. That was twisted enough to get my attention, but this one is pretty conventional.  

This time, the story begins when a bellman in John Lennon's hotel suite (He was one of the "bay-ott-lays", if you'll recall) tries to evict a would-be groupie. Well, not a groupie exactly. More of a half-mad schemer who plans to marry Lennon. They end up scuffling, and when Lennon finally enters, they both end up hiding under the bed to avoid detection. Needless to say, Lennon chooses this opportunity to toss a woman on the bed and re-enact the entire Kama Sutra above their heads. While they wait, they  ... um ... sort of refresh themselves, if you know what I mean.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterboxed, 2.35:1

  • very poor transfer (or source medium)

  • no features

This begins a relationship that lasts more than 30 years, although the sum of the time they spend together amounts to less than a week of real time. They come close to getting together more permanently, but never do, generally because the woman gets a chance to get her hooks into a rich guy instead, which is her thing. She never stops scheming throughout the film. The movie details the comic ons and offs of their relationship.

To my taste, it was kind of an irritating comedy. The leading man was too whipped, and the leading lady was too calculating, so I disliked them and didn't care what happened to them, and the movie went on forever. Two hours of this seemed like too much to me.

It may get your attention because Penelope Cruz plays the woman as a young girl, and then portrays her daughter 30 years later.

Not a very good film as it is. Women adore it at IMDb, so it might be worth seeing in a cleaned-up DVD, but wait until one appears.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews on line

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.5 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is in the C's somewhere. So-so comedy spoiled by awful DVD. Very popular with women at IMDb (8.3 - world class!)

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