THE MAGIC GLOVES (2003) – Review

Gabriel Fernandez Capello in 'The Magic Gloves' - Martin Rejtman - MUBI

No magic here. Not even a spark.

The Magic Gloves (Los Guantes Mágicos) (2003) is a surreal comedy about a cab driver and his two loves: disco dancing and his Renault 12–the car everyone loathes. His career as a cab driver led him codependent friendships that run his life in exchange for driving services. The title of the film is deceptive. The gloves are  just stretchable gloves that fit any hand size–with no magical powers. Believe me, if they were, this film would have been much more interesting.

Alejandro (Gabriel Fernandez Capello) is a cab driver in Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. Sergio (Fabián Arenillas), a passenger he transports one night, believes he went to school with his brother Luis (Diego Olivera). Sergio, like his wife Susana (Susana Pampin), is very pushy and “persuades” Alejandro to come to their house for dinner one Friday evening. Cecilia (Cecilia Biagini), his girlfriend, break up with him as she is tired of going out dancing. Sergio and Susana take it upon themselves to assist in the affairs of each of their lives–causing things to become worse in the process. What ensues is a strange mixture of depressed people, prescription medications, capitalist aims, adult films, and “magic gloves” seen as a gateway out of an economic slump.

Sadly, the synopsis was better than the film. Susana and Sergio’s influence over Cecilia and Alejandro was absurd, and their guidance, while it did create brief benefits, was overall misguided. Everyone regresses to the point of having each other’s issues (whether it’s alcoholism or increased perception of hearing), and the film lost its luster at around the half point. Sergio was the most entertaining character, who would always jump at the chance of asking someone to listen to his metal CD on his incredibly loud sound system and find some way to make a little extra money for his household. Aside from Sergio, the other cast members were flat and emotionless.

Overall, Alejandro was a nice and simple guy, but his peers shoving him around all the time was discouraging. He was just going along with their decisions without much thought as to the consequences for him. His “friends” (including his second lover) used him for comfort and convenience to take them to their destinations–at reduced rates. Even though, they gave him gifts; there was always a catch. He was the only character in the film who enjoyed his original social standing, and the others couldn’t accept it.

The film had its cheerful moments, but the humor–short lived and repetitive. The Magic Gloves is a mediocre tale of working class people that want only to make a living, and find happiness just like me, you, and everyone we know.

A more concise  plot would have made this film much better–starting with real magic gloves.


  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 2 stars
  • Poor

  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 2015-04-22

Review Summary:

His Renault 12 may be old, crappy, and terribly un-cool, but for 35-year-old car service driver Alejandro it’s a haven of peace and his sole object of desire.

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