Bear Cub

by Barbara Ashcraft

Bear Cub

Note: This movie is in Spanish with subtitles in English
Starring: Jose Luis Garcia Perez and David Castillo
100 minutes (released 2004) rated R
Directed by Miguel Albaladejo

A 40+ dentist in Madrid who also happens to be homosexual (Pedro, played by David Castillo) agrees to care for his 9-year-old nephew (Bernardo) for two weeks while his sister (Violeta) goes to India on vacation with her friend. Bernardo’s father is dead. Pedro plans to put his active sexual life on hold for what he thinks will be a short period of time. When his sister does not return as expected, Pedro must assume the role of Bernardo’s parent.

Almost immediately, however, Bernardo’s paternal grandmother appears. Apparently the grandmother has not been allowed to be a part of Bernardo’s life ever since her son died and she pressures Pedro to let her see the boy. Bernardo does not like his grandmother and refuses to see her. Then the boy’s mother is detained in another country, and all of a sudden Pedro has a custody battle on his hands.

What I liked about this film:

The interaction between Pedro and Bernardo is sweet and a joy to watch. They truly love one another. The actors seem truly invested in these roles and highlight what true “family values” are about.

What I didn’t:

There were two things. Since Spanish is not my first language, I had difficulty at first understanding some of the dialog because the subtitles moved very quickly. The second thing is that there is too much gratuitous, anonymous sex. This is clearly not a appropriate rental for Family Movie Night, but it is a touching story of a man coming to the realization that there is more to life than just partying.

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