Paulina García plays the title character in this unusual Chilean romdramedy. Gloria is a fifty-something divorcee. She frequents bars where people her age mingle and dance. And she frequently comes home alone only to find her crazy upstairs neighbor’s creepy hairless cat in her apartment. From outwards appearances, hers in a pretty mundane existence. But Gloria isn’t settling into old age. She’s still looking for the brass ring and though she may not grab it every time around, her exuberance for life is pretty endearing and ultimately inspiring.
Gloria meets a recently divorced man, Rodolfo, at one of her usual bars, and they quickly develop a close relationship. (If you’re uncomfortable seeing older people having sex or being nude, you may not want to go to this film, or you could shut your eyes. Not that it is a big part of the film, but we don’t go there in American movies.) Rodolfo is clearly smitten with Gloria, and she is having a fun time being pursued. But as they grow closer and closer, it turns out he hasn’t really fully divorced himself yet from his wife and his grown daughters and it becomes more and more clear that he is not the man she was looking for.
What I liked about Gloria was that it did not turn a mistake into a tragedy. The film is about a real woman, warts and all, who keeps going despite all the crap that gets thrown her way. And Gloria has a fantastic sense of humor about her life and the world. The paintball scene alone is worth the price of admission. (No spoilers.) Paulina García’s Gloria is extremely lovable and plucky in that Tina Fey/Liz Lemon or maybe Sally Hawkins/Happy Go Lucky kind of way. You’re pulling for her, and you know she will be fine. It is a very human movie in that it mixes the sad with the silly and throws in a bit of romance, and everything doesn’t get cleaned up perfectly, but that’s life! I’d recommend it for a chicks’ night out. Be sure to have a fun dance place picked out for after!
(Note: I have a friend who went to see it and found it depressing, being a woman of about the same age. But I think it is one of those glass half full/empty situations. You can see her plight as sad or as hopeful. I went for the latter. See it and let us know how you saw it.)