How to Be a Woman and Not Die in the Attempt

Watch How to Be a Woman and Not Die in the Attempt

  • NR
  • 1991
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 5.9  (369)

How to Be a Woman and Not Die in the Attempt is a Spanish comedy-drama film from 1991, directed by Ana Belén and starring Carmen Maura, Antonio Resines, and Carmen Conesa. The film is a witty and satirical look at the struggles of a modern, working-class woman trying to juggle her career, her family, and her love life in 1980s Spain.

The protagonist of the film is Carmen, a middle-aged married woman who works as a translator in a publishing company. Carmen is intelligent, independent, and ambitious, but she constantly feels overwhelmed by the demands of her job, her husband, and her two children. Her husband Luis is a lazy and self-centered man who expects Carmen to do all the household chores and take care of their children, while he spends his time watching TV and drinking beer. Carmen's children, Juan and Olga, are both teenagers who are going through their own struggles, with Juan being rebellious and Olga being obsessed with her appearance.

As the film begins, Carmen is facing a crisis at work, where her boss is pressuring her to translate a trashy romance novel that she finds demeaning. Meanwhile, Luis is pressuring her to cook a fancy meal for his boss and his wife, while their children are causing chaos in the house. Carmen feels trapped and exhausted by her daily routine, and she starts to daydream about a more exciting and fulfilling life.

One day, Carmen meets a charming and attractive man named Toni, who is a successful architect. Toni is everything that Luis is not: he is kind, attentive, and respectful of Carmen's intelligence and independence. Carmen is initially hesitant to start a relationship with Toni, as she is afraid of hurting her family and jeopardizing her career. However, she eventually gives in to her feelings and starts a passionate affair with Toni, which gives her a new sense of vitality and self-esteem.

Carmen's new relationship with Toni leads her to question her life choices and her role as a woman. She starts to challenge the traditional gender roles that have been imposed on her by society, and she starts to assert herself in her personal and professional life. This leads to some humorous and poignant scenes, such as when Carmen gives a feminist speech at a dinner party or when she stands up to her boss at work.

Throughout the film, Carmen faces several obstacles and challenges, including a health scare, a family crisis, and a work-related conflict. However, she manages to overcome these challenges with wit, resilience, and a sense of humor. In the end, Carmen realizes that she doesn't need a man to define her or make her happy; she can be a strong and independent woman who is capable of navigating the complexities of modern life.

Overall, How to Be a Woman and Not Die in the Attempt is a smart, funny, and engaging film that offers a fresh perspective on the challenges of being a modern woman in a patriarchal society. The film is anchored by Carmen Maura's outstanding performance as Carmen, who is a relatable and multi-dimensional protagonist. The film's themes of feminism, family, and identity are still relevant today, and the film's message of empowerment and self-discovery is uplifting and inspiring.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (369)