Sometimes you just want to watch a simple movie without any lasting value. Miami Bici is exactly that movie. It’s superficial, most of the actors don’t know how to act and jokes don’t work half of the time. But hey, at least it looks cool. It’s got that vibrant color palette and sleek visual style, much like an infinitely better comedy Palm Springs. This is a Romanian movie starring two YouTube stars and as such, it features a different approach to comedy albeit clumsy and commercial. Ultimately, I think that the decision whether you will like it depends on how you’re feeling at the moment. If you’re a generous god, you just might find the age-old story of two bumbling immigrants being amazed at the US and A funny.
Borat made this whole slav experience a bit more familiar to the audiences around the world. Not to mention that brief but highly influential and hilarious segment on Eurotrip. “Dear sweet mother of god, we’re in Eastern Europe”. You can expect the same thing here, with the story going back and forth between the Motherland and US and A. The best and the saddest thing is that most of these things are true.
Widespread poverty and lack of opportunities combined with corruption and an unshakably nihilistic/simplistic/hedonistic system of values of the old guard is prevalent in most of the Eastern European countries, not just Romania. A country that’s been a member of the European Union for over thirteen years now. And a country that set an example in how you should take care of business if an evil dictator like Ceausescu takes over, albeit after 25 years in power. Better late than never. However, that’s just a smaller part of this movie, for the most time the story is set in Miami, as the title suggests.
Ion and Ilie are two best friends living in Romania. Determined to escape the poverty of their hometown, they are willing to do anything to get rich, quick. They hook up with a local criminal that puts them in touch with a guy selling dope in Miami, the cocaine capital of the world. Beautiful weather, girls and loads of cash are soon before Ion and Ilie. They are enjoying this new life not knowing they will soon be running for their lives.
Miami Bici is a charmingly bad comedy that should keep you entertained for ninety minutes. It should not make you think that Romania doesn’t have any good comedies. Just check out two classics: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and Two Lottery Tickets and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Even the main story here seems pretty solid and authentic. Especially since it revolves around the drug trade. I like movies like this because they give you a sense of what ordinary people may find funny and interesting. Since Miami Bici was produced by Netflix I don’t know why they didn’t opt for more nudity as I’m sure it would be a major plus. Instead, we will get a lot of “music video nudity” which is a shame.