“What if we’re each other’s solution?”
The steamy Spanish thriller Between Your Legs (Entre Las Piernas) is a tale of adultery, blackmail and murder set against the relationship of two people who meet at a Sex Addicts support group. With Victoria Abril and Javier Bardem as the two sex addicts, sparks fly, but they also fizzle in the depths of a murky plot that leaves some questions unanswered.
I’ve sometimes wondered if having a number of sex addicts attend a meeting together is advisable, and all the spicy scenarios my over-active imagination conjures up come to pass in this film when sex addict, Miranda (Victoria Abril) meets fellow insatiable sex addict Javier (Javier Bardem). There’s an immediate attraction, although Miranda who’s married to detective Felix (Carmelo Gomez) tries valiantly for a moment or two to brush off Javier’s attentions. But who is she kidding? The next thing we know, Miranda and Javier are writhing in the back seat of a car in a deserted parking lot.
Miranda and Javier are characters whose lives are seeped in sex. Miranda is a telephone operator for a late-night call-in show and most of her calls are about…you’ve guessed it…sex. Javier works for a publishing company, and all the scripts he reads are about…yes, right again…sex. No wonder these two poor buggers are sex addicts. They can’t get away from the subject.
Javier, rather rationally, I thought, decides that it makes perfect sense that he and Miranda should be together. He realizes that they both have needs and desires and decides that they can basically solve each other’s problem. Makes sense to me. But it doesn’t make sense to Miranda’s husband, Felix, who soon sniffs that adultery is afoot. Plus being a detective, it’s a fairly easy matter for him to follow Miranda, trace license plate numbers, etc.
But then to complicate matters, a body is found in the trunk of the car that Miranda and Javier appropriated for their impromptu steamy rendezvous. Felix investigates the case, and soon he has reason to place Javier as the main suspect.
Now this sounds like an interesting plot, but unfortunately other elements that appear fairly early on in the film confuse matters. These include fantasy sequences involving Javier and a mystery woman who drew him into sex addiction, the sensationalistic illicit sex story of the man running the Sex Addicts meeting, and the existence of some sex tapes. There’s a sequence involving Miranda’s dog and a trip to the veterinarian that leads nowhere, and there’s also a minor subplot involving a taxi driver and AIDS. I’m still uncertain why this latter sub plot was included unless it was supposed to represent the ‘safe sex’ part of the equation. Anyway, thanks to all these superfluous scenes and characters, the first half of the film was a bit confusing, while the second half ironed out some (not all) of these plot elements.
The optimistic conclusion counteracted the film’s overall noir mood, and I still had a couple of questions left unanswered when the credits rolled. If anyone out there can tell me what Felix stepped on in the last scene, please leave a comment. Between Your Legs is based on a novel by Joaquin Oristrell and directed by Manuel Gomez Pereira.