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by Ann M. Colford & r & & r & La Mujer de mi Hermano & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & ith a title like "My Brother's Wife," it's not hard to figure out the basic plot of this Mexican film modeled after the popular Spanish-language telenovelas. Sadly, the plot does not move beyond the basic, tracking a predictable course with only a couple of steamy sex scenes to spark any interest.


Strikingly beautiful Zoe (Barbara Mori) lives in her architectural gem of a home with her handsome and financially successful husband, Ignacio (Christian Meier), high above Mexico City. But all is not well. Ignacio lavishes more attention on his lap pool and treadmill than on his wife; the responsibilities of running the family factory weigh heavy on his sculpted brow. Once a week, Ignacio dutifully makes love to his wife and promptly goes to sleep. Zoe and Ignacio have been unable to conceive a child -- big surprise -- much to the consternation of Ignacio's mother (Angelica Aragon) who wants nothing more than a grandchild to carry on the family name.


Zoe thus seeks connection and appreciation outside her marriage -- first in a safe friendship with her gay friend Boris (Bruno Bichir) and later, more dangerously, with her husband's ne'er-do-well artist brother, Gonzalo (Manolo Cardona). Ignacio's money supports Gonzalo, so there's already a rift between the brothers, but in Zoe's eyes, Gonzalo is everything her husband is not -- creative, exciting, unpredictable and wildly sensual.


Of course, Ignacio finds out about the affair, thanks to a silly contrivance involving a cell phone. Of course the affair results in consequences, and those consequences fall most heavily on Zoe.


But here's where the cultural piece comes in. In an American drama, the cuckolded husband would pull a gun or do some other kind of violence to the adulterous couple. Here, short of a little property destruction -- rather genteel, really -- there's no violence. No one gets shot or stabbed or even shoved. There's a denouement between the brothers, but even this twist is telegraphed early on. The solution is neat and tidy; everyone behaves just as we'd expect.


There's not much to recommend this DVD, other than pretty people and the novelty of seeing a slice of Mexico's upper crust -- not even any special features. A travelogue would be more informative and entertaining.

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