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Film review: Jamon Jamon

Published: Tuesday, April 12 1994 12:00 a.m. MDT

"Jamon Jamon" is Spanish for a type of ham, and the film is subtitled "A Tale of Ham and Passion." That sets the satiric tone for this dark, sexy comedy, which very much wants to be in Pedro Almodovar territory. Perhaps a bit too much.

The story has a young woman (Penelope Cruz, who is enchanting) from the wrong side of the tracks in love with the wimpy son (Jordi Molla) of the local power family. When she becomes pregnant, he asks her to marry him. But he's afraid of his mother (Anna Galiena, also very good), who is obsessive and domineering.

Mom tries to halt the affair by paying the town stud (Javier Bardem) to seduce Cruz - but things, of course, do not happen precisely as planned.

There are some amusing bits of business here, but mostly "Jamon Jamon" is half-baked and overripe. It wants to be sexy, funny and incisive, but instead it is more overheated and silly.

"Jamon Jamon" is not rated but would get an R for an abundance of violence, sex, nudity and profanity.