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Lotsa Boys From Brazil

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 16, 2001

   


    'Me You Them' Regina Case stars in "Me You Them." (Sony Pictures Classics)
"Me, You, Them" is basically "Four's Company" in Hell. Set in the desiccated northeastern reaches of Brazil, this well-acted but underwhelming comedy follows the exploits of Darlene (Regina Case), a passionate peasant who discovers she's woman enough for three men. (Actually three aren't quite enough for the salt-of-the-earthen heroine.)

Most women find it hard enough to live with one man – even if he's sensitive enough to put the seat down – much less three under the same roof. (Why not just get a job in the Celtics' locker room picking up socks?) But throughout the movie, the rawboned, bighearted Darlene just keeps adding to her collection of fellers. And that includes her four children, all of them by different fathers, all of them boys.

The story begins when Osias (Lima Duarte), a dour skinflint, promises to give the young Darlene the run of his new adobe house if only she will marry him. On her own with a son to raise, she accepts, only to discover that Osias really wants to lie in his hammock while she keeps house and supports the family by working in the nearby cane fields.

In retaliation, she dallies with his good friend (Stenio Garcia) and a handsome young cane worker (Luiz Vasconcelos), among others. In time, she bears a son with just about every man in her tiny rural village, where the barren streets contrast with Darlene's abundance and sensuality. She is woman, see her score. If only Darlene had discovered birth control, the movie might have ended before the concept wore so thin, the pace grew so slow and the plot became so stale.

Case is ably supported by her leading men, but she gives the movie its strength, if not its virility, with her gonzo performance. That, the region's stark beauty and the filmmaker's eye for compositioncompensate somewhat for its predictability and obvious if misguided feminist agenda.

Directed by Andrucha Waddington and written by Elena Soarez, the movie was inspired by a true story that struck the two as amusing given the macho culture of their country. Apparently, by these standards if you can cuckold three honchos at the same time, you could be a cover girl for Brazilian Ms.

"Me, You, Them" (107 minutes; in Portuguese with subtitles) is rated PG-13 for sexual situations and thematic content.

 

Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company


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