(Original Title: La Chispa De La Vida)
There are times that art can imitate life better than life itself. You can watch the news, read the newspaper, gather information regarding the economic crisis in Spain, Portugal and Greece but you will only be able to fully get what’s happening by actually going there, spending some time with the locals and trying to comprehend their mentality.
As Luck Would Have It is the best proof of this. It’s the story of Roberto, played by José Mota, a freelance publicist who used to be one of the best in his field but was at some point made redundant and has been left unemployed. With two kids studying in the university, a mortgage and never-ending bills coming in, Roberto needs to find himself a new job as soon as possible. His wife Louisa, portrayed by Salma Hayek, tries to do her best to help: she gets a job, maintains a decent household with no money at all and supports and encourages her husband, letting him know that things will eventually get better. Roberto on the other hand doesn’t share her optimism, as he is aware that getting a job in his fifties, and in the middle of a crisis, is simply impossible.
In his last job interview, Roberto begs, humiliates himself, but it’s still not enough. Knowing that this was probably his last chance to find work, he decides to leave everything behind and spoil himself and his wife with an anniversary gift. He drives to Cartagena to find the hotel in which the couple had spent their honeymoon, in order to book a room, but in the process Roberto has a serious accident, which changes everything in his life drastically.
As the story moves forward, it becomes increasingly frustrating, only because of its hard-to-digest realism. It shows exactly how things work in Spain, and in Greece for that matter. Everything takes ages to happen, even at crucial times, and the way that the press handles people and deliver the news, as well as the way that politicians react in even severe matters, is just too familiar. Everything is true, things are shown as they are and you feel like this film transcends all country borders in just a second.
As Luck Would Have It is a highly emotional movie. It shows the difficulties along with the desperation that a man can feel when his life gets off track for good. Despite the fact that everything moves around Roberto and how he thinks he could make things work even in the last minute, there is no question that the true hero here is Louisa. She is the person who keeps a clear head during everything and above all, she represents what pride and dignity are all about.
As Luck Would Have It shows something that few might relate to, even though it concerns many. It talks about a value that has been forgotten, it talks about dignity and about money not being able to fix everything – an unexpected message for the time we live in…
As Luck Would Have It at IMDb
As Luck Would Have It at Wikipedia
As Luck Would Have It at Rotten Tomatoes
As Luck Would Have It (awards won and nominated for) at IMDb