Netflixable? “Swingers” in Spain? “More the Merrier (Donde Caben Dos)”

A sophisticated Spanish comedy about “swingers” and “swinging,” wrestling with the emptiness of such pursuits, the dehumanizing nature of orgies among the anonymous and the coarsening of the culture that results from such pursuits?

Nah. “More the Merrier (Donde Caben Dos)” is just about the sex, the skin, the exchange of…fake names.

It was directed by “Paco Cabellero.” Tell me that’s not a porn pseudonym, and no, I’m not looking up his “credits.” That would spoil the joke.

“More the Merrier” is pitched as a sex farce, and it sort of delivers on that labeling. Well, not the “farce” part. The script — which never quite crosses the line into “piggish,” even though all the screenwriters were guys (A Netflix Miracle!) — follows five different trips through the swinger experience, ranging from too predictable to be funny, to “real romance” (yeah, that happens in swinger clubs) and AWKward.

And that’s not even counting the one that celebrates copulating cousins.

Here’s what works and has the most promise. Alba and Liana (María León, Aixa Villagrán) wake up so hung over they don’t remember the night before. Mid-binge, Liana dragged her about-to-marry pal to Club Paradiso, where the “Leave your ‘feelings outside,'” and “the sexual revolution begins here and now” owner/hostess (Ana Milán) presides.

Alba lost her engagement ring on the eve of her wedding and they have to sober up (and clean up) enough to go back and find it.

The hostess doesn’t want to re-admit them, and they have no idea why. What on Earth could they have done to get “banned?” What were they on? And where did she lose the ring — in the pool, the pick-up-your-partner bar, in the “labyrinth,” a BDSM Room, some other “private” and consensual corner, by the “Glory Hole?”

The mind reels.

Their odyssey through a night-long search includes stumbling into a guy they left nearly naked, bound and gagged the night before, encountering smirking strangers who plainly “knew” them in the Biblical sense, and so on.

As conventional as that “Hangover” in a swinger’s club storyline might feel, that at least worked.

The couple (Raúl Arévalo, Melina Matthews) dragged there at “her” insistence, only to hook up with a couple that secretly includes his ex (Verónica Echegui) doesn’t amount to much.

The two long-married couples (Pilar Castro, Ernesto Alterio, María Morales, Luis Callejo) who start an evening in which the guys are conspiring to turn into a wife-swap begins with “truth or dare” and goes downhill from there.

The two gay guys (Álvaro Cervantes, Ricardo Gómez) who hook up in “The Glory Hole” and find themselves chatting and connecting on opposite sides of that wall with holes in it has promise, as a sketch maybe.

But this business of a woman (Anna Castillo) who drags her formerly-close, buttoned-down businessman/cousin (Miki Esparbé) to the club, where she works, to loosen him up, only to…never mind.

Spain, amIright?

The only scenes that produce chuckles are the ones with our intrepid bride-to-be and her mouthy, brash pal Liana — stirring up bad memories, bad behavior and bad feelings about an impending marriage as they hunt for a lost ring.

The rest are an explicit skin-on-skin wash, too talky to be all that titillating, too shallow to say anything important about such places, modern love and what not.

But if you want to know what your kids are sneaking behind your back and watching on Netflix, there you go.

Rating: TV-MA, explicit sex, nudity

Cast: María León, Aixa Villagrán, Raúl Arévalo, Melina Matthews, Álvaro Cervantes, Ricardo Gómez, Pilar Castro, Ernesto Alterio, María Morales, Luis Callejo, Anna Castillo, Miki Esparbé, Ana Milán and Verónica Echegui.

Credits: Directed by Paco Caballero, scripted by Daniel González, Eric Navarro, Eduard Sola and
Paco Caballero. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:52

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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