Kiki: El Amor Se Hace (Kiki: Love To Love)

Fetish culture in Spain, Almodovar-style, and explored in full.

Paco León’s buoyant comedy Kiki: El Amor Se Hace (Kiki: Love To Love) is sort of a sex-positive update of Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, non-judgmentally examining a handful of different fetishes among a group of interconnected Spaniards. For example, the toothsome Natalia (Natalia de Molina) discovers after getting mugged that she has a case of harpaxophilia, helpfully defined on-screen as “sexual arousal being produced by being robbed with violence,” while Jose (Luis Bermejo) learns he has somnophilia, sexual pleasure caused by watching someone sleep. Meanwhile, Paco (director León) and Ana (Ana Katz) try to reignite their marriage by visiting bondage parties and furry nightclubs. Ethical Slut acolytes probably aren’t going to be thrilled that polyamory, defined here as stable, intimate-sexual relationships between three people — a low figure by Bay Area standards — is lumped in with the fetishes, especially since there’s no way around the fact that Jose drugging his wife Paloma (Mari Paz Sayago) to have sex with her while she’s unconscious is hella-nonconsensual. But that kind of transgression is part of the charm of the picture, which has been compared to early Almodóvar for good reason. A scene toward the end between phone-sex sign-language interpreter Sandra (Alexandra Jiménez) and a hearing-impaired caller is unexpectedly sweet, which is also Kiki’s moral: Unexpected delights are often the sweetest.

Kiki: El Amor Se Hace (Kiki: Love To Love)
Not rated.
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.

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