Here’s all you need to know about this ever-so-slight teen romance from Mexico, “Anonymously Yours.”
It’s all about how two kids meet by mistake via texts, and decide to keep their “relationship” secret — “No personal information, no pictures, no clues,” (in Spanish with subtitles, or dubbed into English). They don’t even realize that they’re in high school detention together, grudgingly forced to do “the kind of honest (manual labor projects) that your privilege makes you think is beneath you,” people who don’t like each other who gradually get to know one another.
At some point they have to figure out that this secret “relationship” they’ve developed via text is actually aspiring filmmaker Valeria (Annie Cabello) and scholarship loner Alex (Marco Antonio Morales de la Peña), right? For good or ill, that’s got to come out by the rules of rom-coms.
Alas, director and co-writer Maria Torres (“This is Tomas”) absolutely blows this Big Moment. It barely manages a sputter, and hardly even merits a mention.
So the cute stuff about a tony, high-end high school and its tolerance — the cute lesbian couple (Estefi Merelles, Alicia Vélez) who’re friends with our two “anonymous” flirters, the business with Vale’s “films” and her efforts to convince her elevator business family to let her go to film school, Alex’s loneliness since his martial arts loving dad died — all that’s wasted.
A timid, limp noodle of a teen romance doesn’t do all that much to build up to its big moment, blows the big moment, and that’s that.
They meet in the dead of night. Some girl gave him the wrong number, and they start texting.
She’s struggling in school, distracted by the cinema and her passion to work in it. He’s alone in a new school.
“I don’t want to get to know them, or them to get to know me.”
Two disaffected kids find each other by accident, only decide to keep their digital distance.
And then detention gets in the way — mouthy and rude Vale, picked-on-and-fights-back Alex tied together gardening and painting the school for an hour each day.
Still texting, but now they’re trying hard to get around revealing the fact that they’re running into this cute member of the opposite sex in detention, at parties, etc.
The leads are more attractive than affecting. The romance is lukewarm at best, more middle school chaste than high school hot.
There’s nothing here that would hold your average adult’s attention for more than a few minutes. Kids? Maybe it’ll seem new enough and relatable to them.
But any 100 minute movie with 40 minutes of story, one that blows the romance pretty much entirely and takes a dive in its big moment, is something even teens will outgrow before the closing credits.
Rating: TV-14, teen drinking, profanity
Cast: Annie Cabello, Marco Antonio Morales de la Peña, Estefi Merelles, Alicia Vélez and Harold Azuara.
Credits: Directed by Maria Torres, scripted by Alexandro Aldrete, Daniela Gómez and Maria Torres. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:40