Netflixable? In Spain, love comes second when “In Family I Trust”

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The acting isn’t bad, the Barcelona and environs settings gorgeous and there’s a nice tug of the heartstrings in the finale.

But in all honesty, only one thing works in “In Family I Trust,” a Spanish rom-com based on a Laura Norton novel. It’s a running gag, and it involves a dwarf.

The movie surrounding that? Tepid tapas, I have to say.

Bea grew up in a big house full of love and an absent (seaman) father, sitting on the roof every evening, dreaming of becoming an architect.

Years later, she’s living the dream, about to make a big hotel design presentation. Her live-in workplace romance, Victor (Fernando Guallar) proposes, on impulse, in the shower.

“What the Hell?” Bea (Clara Lago) says, in Spanish with English subtitles, if you like. “SI!”

But damn, she can’t even get to the presentation without being bombed with TV evidence of Victor’s fling with a famous TV reporter the night before. Sure, Bea introduced them at a bar, and maybe there was this little “free pass” agreement between them about that one person on Earth each is allowed to sleep with.

But slapping the dude when you’re pitching rich hoteliers, and flinging the model on the floor, is a way to end everything with a bang. She’s homeward bound, where sister Irene (Alexandra Jiménez) is the town mayor, shoving a new “bio-mass” (tree cutting) energy plant through, sister Débora (Paula Malia) is clinging WAY too tightly to her newborn, and Mom (Pedro Almodóvar favorite Carmen Maura)?

“I have a year to live.”

That news is not-quite-shoved-to-the-side-entirely as Bea reinvents herself as a treehouse architect, and Mr. Bio-Mass (Álex García) becomes her first client. He drives a vintage pink Mercedes, which is worth commenting on.

“Only a guy who’s irresistible (and knows it) would drive a car like that.”

Obstacles to love are many, none of them the least bit interesting, none that cannot be solved by Mom’s new solution to everything.

“Have a shot,” she says, tipping over the bottle. “Soon you’ve be over him.”

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But — spoiler alert — here’s the only bit that works. It’s not about the biomass controversy, not about Bea’s romantic tug of war, not gay brother Leon’s love affair with a cop, not about Mom’s drinking and dying.

SOMEbody’s baby is starting to look a lot like the “entertainment” at a year-ago bachelorette party.

Ahem.

Sorry, but every damn time this running gag returns, with its “Oh, he’ll be fine, just accept him. It’s nobody’s fault” reassurances (Um, it IS somebody’s fault. Cough, cough.) it is hilarious.

Funny idea, well-executed in that “Death at a Funeral” way, amusingly played.

The rest? “Trust” this “familia” not to deliver the laughs.

1half-star

MPAA Rating: TV-MA, sexuality, profanity, drinking

Cast: Clara Lago, Álex García, Alexandra Jiménez, Paula Malia, Fernando Guallar , Carlos Cuevas and Carmen Maura

Credits:  Directed by Patricia Font, script by Darío Madrona, Carlos Montero, based on the novel by Laura Norton.  A Netflix Original.

Running time: 1:37

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