Netflixable? Well, at least the Canary Islands glow in “So My Grandma’s a Lesbian”

Netflix should have kept the original title to this Spanish comedy.

“Salir del Ropero” translates to “Leaving the wardrobe.” It’s a running gag in the film. Celia, one of the two senior citizens who are in love and hope to marry with “the blessings of Pope Paco” (one’s nickname for Pope Francis) confuses “coming out of the closet” for “leaving the wardrobe.”

And “So My Grandma’s a Lesbian” makes a middling comedy worse.

Here’s the best thing in the film — the glorious, exotic Canary Islands location. Volcanic hills, sun-soaked waters, whitewashed Spanish architecture. Who wouldn’t fall in love around all that?

That may be why Celia (Rosa Maria Sardà) fell for Sofia (Verónica Forqué). Her son, a primate researcher in the Congo doesn’t see that. Jorge (David Verdaguer) takes Celia to see a neurologist. She claims to be chatting on the phone with Pope Francis in an effort to get his blessing, after all.

But this late-life “change” and marriage is a far bigger concern for Eva (Ingrid García Jonsson). She’s a young lawyer marrying into a rich family of Brexit-backing/Trump loving Scottish conservatives.

Considering Scotland’s moves to stay in the EU and ban Trump from moving there, that seems far-fetched.

They’re a whole clan of homophobes, well save for the guy (Leander Vyvey) she’s marrying. The shock of Grandma Sofia’s news sends her jetting off to the Canaries to try and stop the wedding.

She’s got a gay granny, Muslim stepbrother and her oft-married mother’s (Mónica López) in show business.

How do you say “Skeletons in the closet” in Spanish?

There aren’t many laughs in this, and most of them come from the physical tomfoolery of Verdaguer, who’s a Spanish Jemaine Clement look-alike/pratfaller.

Writer-director Ángeles Reiné comes up with a lot of disparate characters and complications, but fails utterly to build this into a farce of rising confusion, pace and mayhem.

You’ve got a reluctant coach/city councilman/priest who won’t perform the ceremony without orders from the Vatican, a media scandal that blows up when news gets out about these two sweet little old discriminated-against Catholics can’t get a Church-sanctioned wedding, Scottish hypocrisy and Jorge and Eva — who keep meeting cute, with Jorge imitating the Great Apes he studies in his version of a mating ritual.

“Cute” is about as good as it gets in “So My Grandma’s a Lesbian.” Sweet, even. But funny? Almost never.

But I”ll say this for all that. Come pandemic’s end, the Canaries are going on my bucket list.

MPA Rating: TV-MA, adult themes, drinking

Cast: Rosa Maria Sardà, Verónica Forqué, Ingrid García Jonsson, David Verdaguer

Credits: Scripted and directed by Ángeles Reiné. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:35

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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