Whether you’ve moved out of the city, or your friends have, there’s much to relate to in You Have To Come And See It (Tenéis Que Venir A Verla). This Spanish film from Jonás Trueba (The August Virgin) is an enjoyable entry into the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Competition, centering on two couples in their thirties, who used to hang out in Madrid.
Elena (Itsaso Arana) and Daniel (Vitor Sanz) are still wedded to the city, unlike their friends Susana (Irene Escolar) and Guillermo (Francesco Carril, also seen in KVIFF title Ramona). The latter pair have moved out to a small rural town, and returned to the city for a rare reunion at a piano concert.
We know it’s rare because, over a glass of wine after the show, Susana and Guillermo appear to have been counting the months. You have to come and see it, they urge of their new home, as Elena and Daniel squirm in their seats. It’s only half an hour on the train, they remind them. Promises are made, and six months later, Elena and Daniel take a somewhat reluctant trip to suburbia, starting with that arrogant urban error of thinking you know more about the trains than your hosts do. As they’re shown around the relatively palatial, sunny home, the pleasures of the country are clear, but so are the downsides, as the couples’ conversations continue over lunch, table tennis and a slightly clumsy walk.
It’s a simple but effective set up; a characterful ramble powered by four terrific performances and witty dialogue rooted in the truth. I counted at least six lines that could have come straight out of either my mouth, or that of a good friend. Despite an awkwardness created by absence and expectation, the affection between the four is palpable — so is the gentle amusement when Elena gets over-excited about a political book she’s reading.
You Have To Come And See It is about friends trying to bring each other into their new worlds, whether these are literal or ideological. It’s about longing for company, and wanting to cling to friendships that may have been closer in the past. Shot during the pandemic, it’s a short film that ends with an unusually meta coda, but that’s not unwelcome. It’s a pleasure to spend 64 mins with these four – and ultimately, the filmmakers responsible for introducing us to them.
Karlovy Vary Review: ‘You Have To Come And See It’