Without Men is a 2011 comedy which follows the Latin American town of Mariquita, where all of the men are taken off to war by Communist guerillas. This leaves just the women and children behind to fend for themselves and remake their lives without men. It is based on a novel by James Canon, Tales from the Town of Widows.
The movie is directed by Argentinian director Gabriela Tagliavini (Ladies’ Night). Starring in Without Men is Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) as Rosalba and Christian Slater (True Romance) as Gordon, an American reporter who is covering the war in which the village is involved. The film debuted at the Maya Indie Film Series last year.
Longoria’s character of Rosalba comes to town just after the men are led off to battle, and becomes the Mayor of the small village (because no one else wants the job). She struggles to get the women to work together to help re-assemble their community, which eventually happens. The cohesion that the town finds, however, is more in spite of Rosalba’s deeds than because of them.
It certainly had its cute moments – like when the local preacher, Priest Rafael (Oscar Nuñez, The Office), who is the only man left in town, says that no one is coming to church because “The women aren’t sinning.” Nuñez provided some of the best acting in the film, but his part was small and the bar was low.
Much of the situational humor in this film feels forced and is not terribly funny. The sense of campiness in many of the scenes was accentuated by the background music, which was bland and predictable.
Tagliavini’s directing is nothing special, and there were no really great acting performances anywhere in the film. Longoria’s performance as Rosalba as well as Christian Slater’s was not terrible, but certainly not great. The cinematography by Andrew Strahorn (Hostel: Part 3) was quite predictable and the editing was choppy.
If you are into watching steamy lesbian sex, then this movie may deliver just what you are looking for in a torrid scene between Longoria and Mexican-born actress Kate del Castillo. People en Español named Del Castillo one of their choices for the “25 most influential women” as well as one of their “50 most beautiful.”
There is not a lot of redeeming value in this movie, as anything that might make this movie worthwhile have been sucked out of it by terrible dialog and scriptwriting.
Although the idea behind this film is fairly unique, the production quality of this $4.7 million film leaves a lot to be desired. It’s now available to be watched online, but so are a lot of movies better than this one.