More the Merrier (Donde caben dos)
After being hooked on to Money Heist, I’ve developed a soft spot for Spanish shows and movies. So when Netflix featured this movie on the home screen as one of the top trending films in this part of the world…I checked out the trailer, and it felt worth a watch. Who doesn’t love a good comedy stocked with multiple storylines? More the Merrier follows several people and couples as they embark on an evening of sexual escapades – sexcapades, if you will. This steamy comedy doesn’t shy away from the sexy stuff, and by the end of the evening, many of these characters discover more about themselves (and their respective partners) than they may have wanted to.
It’s a Netflix original; a risqué film that follows five arcs of intimate self-discovery. It’s a no-holds-barred raunchy comedy that spotlights the whole gamut of sexuality in about an hour and forty minutes. Originally a Spanish-language film called Donde Caben Dos, it was released in Spain on July 30, 2021. The English dubbed version was released on Netflix on November 30, 2021. It revolves around a group of individuals who feel wanting in their amorous lives. Vanilla just doesn’t cut it for them; they pine to try out other varied flavours. Fortunately, Anfitriona (Ana Milan) has just the place for them – Club Paradiso – a club for fulfilling avant-garde gratifying endeavours, for couples and individuals alike.
There’s a moment that changes your life – a spark, a fire in your belly that pushes you over the edge in pursuit of pleasure. That’s exactly what Anfitriona tries to capture at her Swingers’ club. She tells her patrons to leave their feelings at the door…and on the night in question, quite the motley of people come through that door. There’s Raúl (Álvaro Cervantes), unimpressed by the porn he’s watching at home and in search of a glory hole, Belén (Melina Matthews) and Jaime (Raúl Arévalo), a shy couple looking for something to spice things up who happen to bump into Ana (Verónica Echegui) and Miguel (Jorge Suquet), a club regular couple who may have more in common with the aforementioned pair than they know.
There’s also Clara (Anna Castillo), a bar employee who brings her hot, uptight cousin Pablo (Miki Esparbé) along for a steamy night, and Alba (María León), who takes her BFF to frantically search the club for her missing engagement ring. Not at the club this evening? Older couples Paco (Luis Callejo) and Marta (Maria Morales), and Alberto (Ernesto Alterio) and Claudia (Pilar Castro), a foursome having a dinner party, which the husbands hope will turn into much, much more. Over the course of the chaotic evening, the respective couples and individuals find themselves coming to some pretty surprising conclusions. There are sexual awakenings between more than a few people, and taboo encounters some might consider better left in the dark. One thing’s for sure, though; it’s a shame-free zone, no matter how wild the desire. It is decidedly not for those looking for a buttoned-up cinematic experience.
The way I look at it, More the Merrier doesn’t seem to know what kind of movie it is; it alternates between sex comedy and sex-positive dramedy, veering into extremely corny territory when it gets too earnest and into X-rated territory when it leans hard into some of the steamier scenes. The message at the heart of the film about erasing sexual shame and stigmas is a good one, but it seems to struggle with how to present it. With the help of a narrator? With sensational confrontations? With dramatically lit sex scenes? It’s not that the multiple storylines are difficult to follow, but the entire thing does feel like a chaotic mess rather than a cohesive whole.
The ensemble cast does a stellar job with the often-confused script, putting on their best faces for the cameras and delivering laughs and heat where needed. It feels like a true ensemble too, which is rare, especially because the film kicks off with the misdirection that the club owner may be our leading lady. There is something to be said here for everyone getting a happy ending (both literally and figuratively). Moving from an outrageously hot or silly scene to closing narration like “Sex and love are the most incredible gifts one can receive.” is a perfect example of how bizarre a script it really is.
The scenes that produce the most chuckles are the ones with our intrepid bride-to-be and her mouthy, brash pal Liana stirring up bad memories, bad behavior and bad feelings about an impending marriage as they hunt for a lost ring. The rest are an explicit skin-on-skin wash, too talky to be all that titillating, and too shallow to say anything important about such places, modern love and relationships etc. Nevertheless, and avoiding the pretention of a great production, it’s worth it just for the laughs. With a few tweaks and trims, it could have been way more appreciable in this genre of the entertainment milieu!
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.