In 2014, an Australian film came out called 'The Little Death'. I quickly became obsessed with this movie and have since had repeat viewings at my house. When I recently sat down to watch the latest Spanish comedy 'Kiki, Love to Love' I quickly became indignant thinking that some Spanish filmmaker has ripped off a most beloved local film. It wasn't until about 30 minutes in that I realised there were just too many similarities for this to be a coincidence, and this must be a foreign language remake. Boy, did I feel stupid - but more importantly, why was this answer not a first reaction? Why did this never even occur to me that someone else might want to remake an Australian film for once? Yeesh! That's a pandoras box that should never be opened.
So, for those of you who haven't seen 'The Little Death' (shame on you if you haven't), 'Kiki, Love to Love' is set in Madrid and follows different couples as they navigate their relationships and lives around a member's fetish. There's the couple who are unsatisfied with their sex life until a rekindled friendship introduces them to Madrid's underground sex scene. The couple struggling to conceive - possibly because of the wife's lack or orgasms - until she discovers her sexual attraction to her husband but only when he cries. There's a girl who enjoys violent confrontation and the deaf woman with a fetish for silk, among others. A varied melting pot of sexual desires and kinks, but can any of them find true happiness?
What I loved about 'The Little Death' was its originality, intelligent dry humour, cleverness and unexpected genuine romance, all under the veil of a seemingly prudish Australian society. Once you transport that idea to the very open and passionate Spain, the secrecy and shame of these "afflictions" seem out of place and unnecessary. In 'The Little Death', all the storylines are tied together brilliantly by a seemingly innocuous secondary character, while in 'Kiki' their only commonality is geography. 'The Little Death' writer/director/star Josh Lawson also wasn't afraid to give his characters the endings they deserved - happy or not, with a few unexpectedly bittersweet surprises - yet 'Kiki' plays solely for laughs and cliché happy endings that don't always make sense.
The secrecy and shame of these "afflictions" seem out of place and unnecessary.
The shame about remakes is that when you know what a film could have been and it doesn't live up to that, it makes it all the more disappointing. 'Kiki, Love to Love' is funny and cute, for what it's worth. But at the end of the day, why buy "Made in Madrid" when the bigger and better product is made right here at home.