CIFF Review: Everybody’s Got Somebody… Not Me


[Flixist will be attending the 48th Chicago International Film Festival over the next few weeks. Be sure to follow along as we bring you coverage from the longest-running competitive international film festival in the country. You can easily keep track of the coverage here.]

Relationships have to be the strangest form of human interaction. We all attempt to craft our lives into the type of person we can be proud of, and hope that maybe someone else would be interested and proud of us, too. Then, when we meet that person, we end of becoming a shell of what we used to be, instead becoming this completely different entity. Before long, the relationship’s over, and we spend a long period of time becoming that person we used to be in the first place.

Interesting cycle, isn’t it?

Everybody’s Got Somebody… Not Me (Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo)
Director: Raul Fuentes
Rating: TBD
Country: Mexico

Alejandra (Andrea Portal) is a vaguely late-20s/early-30s, highly-educated editor at a publishing company. Her girlfriend Maria (Naian Daeva) is a high school Senior interested in literature and philosophy. Where Alejandra is cynical and constantly quoting literature in a pretentious, bourgeois manner, Maria is free-spirited, albeit annoyed with the typical trappings that high school life begets (such as loud parties, horny boys, etc.). The differences between the two begin to build up, however, as the two opposites find themselves drifting away from one another.

Everybody’s Got Somebody… Not Me focuses primarily on Alejandra, instead of casting an equal amount of time between the two that I was expecting. Because of this, the problems behind the couple’s relationship are readily made apparent instead of being presented in a more ambiguous manner. Because of this, Alejandra’s cast into the protagonist role, yet by the end of the film, you wonder whether or not she’s actually the “good guy.”

About halfway through, the film shifts from a linear narrative into this confusing process where I wasn’t sure the events were current or took place in the past. Perhaps it was a mix of both? It’s during this shift that Alejandra becomes full center and you discover her quirks and personality. Like I said before, the film’s focused on her, but it would have been nice to see more of Maria’s intentions. I’m not complaining about the decision, as Alejandra’s a more interesting character anyways, but it would have helped balance the film better.

The film is shot in black and white, which aids the overall theme of casting Alejandra and Maria as total opposites. In a predictable decision, this is made obvious in their physical differences with Alejandra sticking to dark colors and Maria wearing brights. In fact, the cinematography’s a strong point of the film. I’m a sucker for black and white just as much as I’m a fan of wide angle shots, and Everybody’s Got Somebody… Not Me is full of both. Portal is able to balance her character’s pretentiousness with vulnerability, two character traits that are both at adds and symbiotic with one another. 

Everybody’s Got Somebody… Not Me focuses on a pretentious character while not being pretentious itself. That, in its own right, should amount to something. If you’re a fan of character study films, you might enjoy this film. It doesn’t dive into deep, metaphysical questions about what makes us crazy when we’re in love, but it does much more than the typical romance film does.