Dark comedies have long been a part of the cinematic cesspool. They are hard to accomplish successfully and appeal to a limited crowd. No other genre so boldly confronts the desensitization of society to the point where life-and-death situations occur while hilarity is simultaneously ensuing. The drastic differences between the humorous viewpoints and the not-so-humorous situations they relate to stir up questions about society’s immunity to violence and gore.
Roberto Gomez is having a bad day. He has been unemployed for a while, and his job hunts only confirm his suspicions that he is beyond the prime of his life, and that his “friends” in the field were only friends while he was bringing money to their company. He has a supportive, beautiful, and loving family, but is so blinded to just how supportive, beautiful and loving they are by his lack of success and inability to provide for them.
He feels old and out of place, surrounded by potential employers half his age, and probably twice as qualified. His day goes from bad to worse with every decision he makes, even the seemingly simple ones like getting a cup of coffee, until his trip to the hotel where he and his wife honeymooned spirals out of control, and he gets into a freak accident. Of course, there’s an oddball sense of humor to this, but the situations become so horrid that it is hard to laugh at them after a while.
As Luck Would Have It is advertised as a dark comedy, but there is so much more “dark” than “comedy.” Yes, the film has a few scattered funny moments but they are largely outweighed by the tragedy of the film. In fact, if one is looking to watch a comedy, this would be the last film I would recommend. Though it’s not a new concept by any means, the film confronts the blurry dotted line between the importance of love and the importance of family. Despite Roberto and Luisa’s sweet, romantic relationship that has lasted fourteen years, Roberto’s insecurities are apparent, and cannot be solved unless he is living in a secure financial situation. It is amazing that Roberto is able to maintain his relationship with his wife despite his obsession with his non-existent job that has reached the point where he will not change out of his work clothes, and that he sleeps in a bed littered with resumes and paperwork.
The film is in Spanish, with English subtitles throughout. The footage of marble structures and the grand score in the beginning carry a regal tone, perhaps a preface to the downhill spiral that is about to occur. There is such a contrast between the luxurious and the leftover, until a life-or-death issue is presented.
Jose Mota gives a great performance as Roberto, portraying the kind of guy who would jump at an opportunity to work for the mob, but would be so naïve that he would put the family he loves so much in danger, and still find the entire situation hilarious.
This is not to say that As Luck Would Have It is not a good movie; any movie that manages to haunt the viewer for days after its viewing certifies its strength, and As Luck Would Have It is not a movie viewers are likely to forget anytime soon.