Salir del ropero
Director: Ángeles Reiné
Writer: Ángeles Reiné
Cast: Rosa Maria Sardà, Verónica Forqué, Ingrid García Jonsson, David Verdaguer, Candela Peña, Mónica López, Pol Monen, Alex O’Dogherty, Leander Vyvey, Liz Lobato, Maria Caballero
Seen on: 5.2.2021
Content Note: ableism, (critical treatment of) homomisia
Eva (Ingrid García Jonsson) is just about to get married to Stuart (Leander Vyvey) who comes from a very rich and very conservative family. So when Eva hears that her grandmother Sofia (Verónica Forqué) wants to get married to her best friend Celia (Rosa Maria Sardà), Eva sees her wedding and her happiness threatened. She decides to return to Lanzarote and to talk some sense into her grandmother, keep her from getting married and thus causing an uproar and saving her union with Stuart. That’s easier said than done, though.
Salir del ropero is okay. It leans a little too hard on some of its comedic aspects, and puts the focus on Eva instead of Sofia and Celia, but it does have sweet moments.
Salir del ropero’s biggest problem is that it is told from Eva’s perspective for the most part. And her reaction to her grandmother’s announcement is intensely selfish and homomisic and utterly hurtful (much like in Croce e delizia which has a surprisingly similar plot) – but this is never examined for what it is. It’s only treated as a joke. Or rather – her grandmother’s queerness is only a prop in Eva’s journey of self-discovery. This framing hampers the entire film.
The film’s second biggest problem (and it’s only second because it doesn’t affect the entire film) is the character of Perla (Candela Peña), a developmentally disabled family member who is protrayed in every stereotypical way you can think of (by an abled actor no less). It’s frankly very difficult to watch in it’s unabashed ableism.
Apart from the ableism, I was able to enjoy Salir del ropero for the most part, even if I would have liked it to take its characters and their emotions a little more seriously. With Sofia and Celia there are moments where things get actually touching, but they are sidelined too much. (With Eva and Jorge, everything is too paint-by-numbers to really work.) The film touches on the difficulty of reconciling a homomisic church with your own belief as a queer person, but that, too, never gets more than a joking treatment.
Overall the film remains shallow and not as much fun as I would have hoped. Every once in a while, it gets things right, but what works most consistently is how beautiful Lanzarote is.