Gabriel Ochoa’s début feature, “El amor no es lo que era” [Eng. Title: Love Is Not What It Used to Be] attempts to make a mathematical interpretation of modern romantic relationships using three couples of various ages as case studies; the thread connecting these otherwise unrelated couples is the fact that all three men are medical professionals working in the same hospital.
Albert (Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa), a recently retired Ophthalmologist meets old flame Irene (Petra Martínez) at a mutual friend’s funeral. Albert has yet to come to terms with retired life and lies to Paz that he’s still employed. Irene is similarly economical with the truth by hiding a recent medical diagnosis and upcoming surgery. Both obviously like to rekindle their past love, and set about courting each other in their own way.
A cycling-while-on-the-phone student Lucía (Aida Folch) ‘bumps’ into Álex (Nicolás Coronado), a newly qualified surgeon, and a tentative romance blossoms following a few ‘casual’ one-night stands. A feisty Lucía will soon have to come to terms with the fact that Álex would be leaving to France soon to intern at a prestigious institution.
Ophthalmic surgeon Jorge (Alberto San Juan) and school teacher Paz (Blanca Romero) are a thirty-something couple living apart due to their strained relationship. Paz returns home briefly to recuperate from an injury following an accident. They’re still on friendly terms, but while they still care about each other, it will require a lot more to give them a reason to get back together as before.
The film makes mathematical comparisons for the varying degree of success within each relationship, but one couldn’t help wondering if these ideas are of any relevance to real life relationships, which if anything, are more likely to be associated with Chaos theory rather than parabolas. Besides, most of the film’s characters could’ve been fleshed out further than what we get to see. As a gentle drama with several known faces and decent production values, the film is entertaining, but sadly not so memorable.
The Nudity: Aida Folch and Blanca Romero
As Lucía, Aida Folch appears briefly nude in a couple of post-coital scenes. In a scene, Blanca Romero’s Paz enters the bathroom in the nude to surprise (and hopefully interest) a self-absorbed Jorge, but fails. There’s more success later however when Jorge attends to Paz’s healing wound.