Film Review: My Heart Goes Boom! – Raindance Film Festival 2021

Reviewer: Maryam Philpott

Writers: Eduardo Navarro, David Esteban Cubero and Nacho Álvarez

Director: Nacho Álvarez

A chase through the airport is a standard rom-com finale but setting the meet-cute in one is less usual. Nacho Álvarez’s musical My Heart Goes Boom!, screening at the Raindance Film Festival 2021, is a technicolour whirlwind that has great fun playing with the genre, and with influences from Hairspray to Bollywood and, inevitably, La La Land, this Spanish tale is one of the happiest films at the Festival.

When Maria jilts her Italian lover at the altar, she jumps on the first plane to Madrid where she almost immediately bumps into TV-censor-in-training Pablo. Months later, Maria is now a stewardess and encounters Pablo again when she has to deliver his lost suitcase to the TV studio where a director makes her one of the Rosettes, a backing dancer to a famous singer. Determined to modernise the choreography, Maria upsets the taste and decency monitor who orders her off the show.

Written by Eduardo Navarro and David Esteban Cubero based on an original idea by Álvarez, this is a film that requires you to suspend your disbelief and let the primary-coloured, energetic wave of it all wash over you. It’s classic romcom territory; girl meets boy, there are tentative first dates, troubled waters and grand gestures while the subplots contain the comedy sidekicks and panto villains determined to throw obstacles in the way of true love. But this time the cookie-cutter format comes up trumps and My Heart Goes Boom! is a hoot.

Cristina Rodríguez’s costume design and Uxua Castelló’s art direction are a visual ray of sunshine, creating a mixed 1960s and 1970s aesthetic that bursts with colour and style. The attention to detail in each scenario, from the chic airport denoted by the bright red uniforms to the TV studio with its glitzy dance leotards and sequined dresses, as well as the sharp 70s tailoring for men all look gorgeous on screen, while cinematographer Juan Carlos Gómez brings the same sparkle to the few scenes set out of doors.

Most importantly, everyone in the film just looks like they’re having a good time mixing character numbers with those performed by the Rosettes on Spanish television. Roque Baños’ music is pop-focused, like a series of Eurovision entries, but the cast sell them all in Álvarez’s semi-fantastical and heighted version of the era.

None of the characters have depth or development particularly but it hardly matters. Ingrid García Jonsson is a charismatic Maria battling a traditional and more progressive life, Fernando Guallar is suitable dashing as Pablo working through his daddy issues while Verónica Echegui brings bags of personality to the comedy friend role as stewardess Amparo who helps the lovers to connect.

In a Festival with plenty of serious, important and grave movies, it’s great to see the inclusion of something that doesn’t take itself too seriously and just wants the audience to have some fun. With My Heart Goes Boom!, the programmers have chosen wisely and, as Raindance concludes, this movie is a shot of joy.

My Heart Goes Boom is screening at the Raindance Film Festival via Curzon Home Cinema until 8 November.

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A shot of joy

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The Reviews Hub Film Team is under the editorship of Maryam Philpott.

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