Aug 5, 2020

41 The Perfect Man (1982)

(Original Title: 41 el hombre perfecto) A Mexican comedy about a 41 year old virgin who finds himself a widower and extremely wealthy; unfortunately, he's haunted by his late mother and can't have a normal sexual relationship.

 Mamerto Borrego (Eduardo de la Peña) is a socially awkward 41 year old virgin.

His mother has been put to rest.  But he still is haunted by her.  This scene illustrates why this film rises above your typical cheapo Mexican comedy - it's filmed in a uniquely bizarre way that's hard to describe.  The best I can say is, with the lurid color palette and odd angles, etc. it reminds me of the original Creepshow at times, but without the fun horror elements.  

While these didn't translate to VHS very well, each person in  Mamerto's life gets an illustrated title card.  I always appreciate when films use cartoons and paintings for the title sequence.  This one is for his psychologist, Dr. Jorge Villa (Luis Alarcón).

Mamerto desperately needs the shrink's services.  Case in point - his first marriage...

Faustina (Elsa Benn) is ultra-religious and shakes at the very thought of having sex with him.

 Eduardo de la Peña definitely knows how to make a funny face.

Doña Jovita (María Prado), Faustina's mother, keeps accentuating her bib boobs around Mamerto.

In bed, Faustina reads the Ten Commandments, and Mamerto reads about famous women.

Faustina takes a shower and we get a full frontal from Elsa Benn.

Mamerto keeps seeing his mother (Carolina Barret) speak to him in portraits around the house.

 Faustina, trembling, reluctantly agrees to sex.

 Of course it doesn't work out.

 Mamerto laces the pages of her bible with poison.

 As it turns out, he didn't need the poison. Doña Jovita rings the church bell, and Faustina and the priest come falling out to their death!  Yes, Faustina was having an affair this whole time.

 Doña Jovita wants a piece of Mamerto's fortune, so flashes her legs to lure him in.

 But Mamerto goes his own way.

 Mamerto meets Sandy (Angélica Chain) at a club - and her friend Verónica (Clarissa Ahuet)

 Sandy knows about his money and lures him in with an incredible skinny dipping scene.

 But Mamerto is still haunted by his mother and can't function with women.

 Sandy and her two friends Jackie (Cynthia Riveroll) and Verónica (Clarissa Ahuet) plan a practical joke on Mamerto.

 When Mamerto comes home he finds this waiting for him.

 Verónica (Clarissa Ahuet)

Mamerto goes into a changing room and strips down to join them... but when he comes out, he finds they're all fully clothed and laughing at him.  (A pretty cruel joke actually).

 Sandy dies in a tragic motorcycle accident.  Take not of the boob hanging out - this is why we all love Angélica Chain.  She can't go one scene in her entire filmography without providing some skin. 

Mamerto is back with his shrink and his secretary, Virginia (Maricarmen Resendez).

Virginia knows what's up and tries to lure in Mamerto wearing a sexy outfit - with pronounced camel toe.

The next woman in his life is no-nonsense businesswoman, Clarissa Machorro (Julissa).

Like the other women who only want his money, she seduces him.

 An extraordinary A-Frame.


Clarissa has a secret - she's a lesbian in a relationship with Crystal (Anaís de Melo).

She assures Crystal that this is just for money, and won't get in the way of their relationship.

 The next morning (while Mamerto is still struggling in the bathroom from all the food he ate)...

Crystal comes to her bedroom (Anaís de Melo providing full frontal nudity).

 Mamerto catches them in the act.

 Mother has words with Mamerto.

 It gets worse; Clarissa falls into a boiling vat at the sausage factory.

 Mamerto is shown the remains of his dear Clarissa.

It ends well for Mamerto.  He's over his mother (literally turning over her portraits) and has come to terms with his sexuality.  The final scene has him jumping into bed with a guy.  I'm not sure if that is supposed to be cause for applause or laughter; it's '82 so I'm thinking laughter. THE END

I expected this to be a lot stupider and lamer than it was.  It's elevated by its quirky and creative approach to lighting, camera angles, and bursts of the bizarre, sometimes whimsical sometimes macabre.  While the gags are still horribly cheesy and unfunny, the overall experience is strange enough to hold your attention - and the frequent nude scenes certainly help as well. 

Double Feature: This may seem an odd match, but 18-Year-Old Virgin (2009) pairs well.  Another virgin is desperate to get laid, but finds herself in one embarrassing failure after another - until she finally comes to terms with sex.

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