A Spanish comedy about drugs titled I Can Quit Whenever I Want, count me the fuck in! Although it sounds much cooler as Lo Dejo Cuando Quiera. Hijo de puta! This is a remake of the Italian movie of the same name from 2014 with a much more condensed story and characters. Having seen both movies, I can say that this was the right choice. However, there are some big differences between the movies, especially when it comes to tone and atmosphere. This is a more streamlined and approachable version of the same story. Mostly because we have just three main characters. Also, the production values are much higher and the pacing is faster. It’s simply one of those movies you play and zone out. And if you want to analyze things, you most certainly can. Plus, it’s got that European exotic vibe.
Lo Dejo Cuando Quiera starts with our three friends studying hard during their college years. Studying while everyone else is partying. In the background, Chumbawamba’s I Get Knocked Down is blasting, completing your mental transfer to this decade. Actually, the entire soundtrack here is fucking awesome. However, what I wanted to talk about is the inadvertent attention given to several myths shoved down our throats by the official system of values. Starting with this study hard bullshit. Life is just too complex for such a simple and shallow saying. And you’re never going to get back the years or the opportunities you had while at that age. The key word here is balance. And let’s throw in the ye olde Oscar Wilde saying everything in moderation, including the moderation.
Pedro, Arturo, and Eligio are three college students choosing the right path in life. They are studying hard, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and all the other vices, building towards a better future (Weyland Yutani Building Better Worlds). Well, that future arrived and it fucking sucks! Ten years have passed and our three guys are all in huge financial troubles, despite their high education. Actually, their diplomas are preventing them from getting a job. Mostly because of the minimum salary based on your completed education laws. After accidentally learning that one tab of MDMA costs fifty euros and they can make it for two euros, they decide to go into the drug business. However, that will prove to be a much more dangerous affair than they ever imagined.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Lo Dejo Cuando Quiera is basically a Spanish version of Breaking Bad focused on comedy. And you are right, they even mention the hit television show in the freaking movie. Let’s just say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and leave it at that. This is a silly movie with zany gags reminiscent of the eighties and nineties comedies. And a couple of gross and over-the-top scenes that were just hilarious. Especially the one that happened when they robbed the pharmacy. Too bad they didn’t have much more of them. They would have provided the edge that this type of movie needs. At least they nailed that how drugs make you feel part. Not that I know anything about it, I’m just theorizing here folks.
You can use the simplicity of the narrative to think about the society we live in and the values it proposes. For example, while Pedro was a poor teacher, Isa didn’t want anything to do with him. Now that he’s wealthy and drives a cool car, she’s all over him. Sure, some of it stems from his confidence but let us not kid ourselves, the determining factor is money. And this isn’t some sexist statement, we’re looking at certain events and drawing conclusions. You can go even deeper and say that it’s not the money that’s the factor but the stability that it brings and the opportunities it provides. No matter where I go, I end up with tribalism. As the money and success prove to potential partners that you’re a winner at this game of life. We’re no longer in nature so we created our version of it.
In the end, Lo Dejo Cuando Quiera is about making a change and doing something different with your life. You don’t need to become a drug dealer or break the law in any way, just do something that the “old you” wouldn’t do. The reality the official system of values is trying to portray as truthful is a product of their imagination, passed down from generation to generation. Without ever questioning it, if I might add. Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing what you feel is the right thing for you. However, I always had this thing pushing me from the norm. Before I become completely uncomprehensible, I’ll leave you with a quote from the great American poet James Hetfield and his poem Motorbreath: Don’t end up like others, same song, and dance.
Director: Carlos Therón
Writers: Cristóbal Garrido, Adolfo Valor
Cast: David Verdaguer, Ernesto Sevilla, Carlos Santos, Cristina Castaño, Miren Ibarguren, Amaia Salamanca
Fun Facts: Shot on the University Carlos III of Madrid, Getafe Campus