Picks and Pans Review: Barcelona

UPDATED 08/01/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/01/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Tushka Bergen

Nichols is a sales rep for a Chicago-based corporation, doing a very earnest tour of duty in the Barcelona of the early '80s in this droll if slight comedy. He's confused about work (he doesn't know if he's cut out for sales) and, nursing a hangover from a failed fling, confused about love. Now is not a good time—there would never be a good time—for his shiftless, feckless and aggravating cousin (Eigeman), a Navy lieutenant on shore leave, to show up and bunk down. But here he is, "an advance for the Sixth Fleet," just at the time when anti-Americanism is at its height in the city While showing Eigeman the sights—one boulevard is described as "the Michigan Avenue of Barcelona"—Nichols confides a plan to shed his obsession with physical beauty and go out with only "plain or even rather homely women." All lofty intentions are off when he meets Bergen, a beauteous translator who shares his love for disco music from the late '70s. The romance is played out against a rising tide of political tension and violence (including the bombing of a USO) and against a rising tide of tension between the cousins. Nichols and Eigeman play off each other with great verve. Together, they're the strongest part of Barcelona, which, however fetching and witty, seems less a narrative than a series of blackout sketches. (PG-13)

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