A Stray Girlfriend (Una Novia Errante)

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Flehner Films

CANNES -- "A Stray Girlfriend" is an oddity from Argentina in which director, co-writer and star Ana Katz lets a good idea slip away. She plays a young woman named Ines who argues with her boyfriend Miguel (Daniel Hendler) on a trip to the seaside and gets off at the wrong stop. Her boyfriend carries on without her and goes home, leaving Ines to fend for herself.

There is considerable potential for creating a series of misadventures resulting from such a simple mishap, but Katz and co-writer Ines Bortagaray fail to exploit it. The way the young woman deals with her small predicament doesn't offer many laughs and the chances of romance are unfulfilled. Prospects appear limited within Spanish-language territories.

Having jumped off the bus following the argument with Miguel, Ines has to trek through the woods to find the seaside hotel where they've booked a room. She spends most of the initial time in tearful conversations on the phone with her absent boyfriend. A genial woman at the hotel invites her to a party and so Ines goes along.

It turns out the party is being held by a local archery club run by a chubby and friendly guy named German (Carlos Portaluppi). German likes to cook and so Ines ends up being invited for dinner although she pines for Miguel all the while.

There's a running gag about Ines being telephoned wherever she goes by her father and sister, but it never becomes clear why this should be a source of humor. Ines flaps and cries and goes for more hikes in the woods to little apparent effect. It might have been altogether better if she'd stayed on the bus.

A STRAY GIRLFRIEND (UNA NOVIA ERRANTE)
Running time -- 90 minutes
No MPAA rating
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