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NICO AND DANI (R)
Avatar Films
Official Site
Director: Cesc Gay
Producer: Marta Esteban and Gerardo Herrero
Written by: Cesc Gay and Tomás Aragay
Cast: Fernando Ramallo, Jordi Vilches, Marieta Orozco, Esther Nubiola, Chisco Amado, Ana Gracia, Myriam Mezieres

Rating: out of 5


Seeing this movie, with its sunny Mediterranean landscapes took me back to my last summer’s trip to Spain. What I realized last summer and through this movie was how liberal everyone there was compared to Americanos. I live in Austin and I think I’m pretty liberal, but that conception was shattered when I went to Spain and saw how open Spanish—even European—culture is in general. That’s why, when you see this movie, you might want to put on the foreign goggles and try not to judge these kids by American standards of morality. You might want to walk in thinking of how you experimented sexually when you were a kid and multiply those experiences by two or maybe three to prepare for this movie.

Dani’s parents go on a trip to Egypt, leaving him alone for the summer under the occasional supervision of the cook (Myriam Mezieres) and his writing tutor (Ana Gracia). To relive past boyhood rompery, Dani invites his grade school chum, Nico, over to spend the summer hunting, fishing, and just being boys. Unfortunately, plans do not go quite perfectly for Dani. Nico, as the typical testosterone- driven teen, picks up a pair of girls in town to experiment with over the summer. A self-proclaimed mission for himself and for Dani is to lose their virginities—hey, they’re 17 already.

The farther the duo goes in their relationships with the girls, the more marked a difference develops between the boys. At night in the bed the boys share, and Dani experiments sexually (I won’t spoil the details) with the compliant, yet uneasy Nico. He feels more for Nico than friendship, but Nico is all about the girls. After Nico sets off to score with Elena ( Orozco), Dani is driven to seek out another for attention. He goes to family friend and writer Julian’s (Chisco Amado) house to party with the older people and ends up in the embraces of Julian. Unexpectedly the scene ends and Dani and Nico focus on repairing their friendship.

Sensitively directed by Cesc Gay as his second feature film, NICO & DANI had its exciting scenes but the pacing in between lagged a little. NICO & DANI reminded me of CHUCK AND BUCK (note the similarities in titles) in the portrayal of the fumblings of boy sexual experimentation.

I wish Avatar Films had kept the original title, Krampack. “Krampack is a kind of curiosity, said Esther Nubiola. “It symbolizes curiosity we all name to try things out.” Basically, in the story ‘Krampack” is the word the boys term mutual masturbation. I loved it how Dani came up with the idea to sit on his hand so the tingly sensation would simulate a stranger’s hand when he masturbated. An enjoyable movie, I suggest it to all who have an open mind.

—Jennifer Prestigiacomo

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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