I've said before that a new film from Woody Allen is something like getting a Christmas gift from your eccentric aunt; you never know if you'll get a crocheted toilet paper cozy, or a piece of priceless heirloom jewelry. Fortunately, Allen's newest film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, turns out to be more like the latter. The story opens with Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), two best friends heading to Barcelona for eight weeks of fun.
Vicky's distant relations Judy (Patricia Clarkson) and Mark (Kevin Dunn) live in Barcelona, and have invited the girls to spend the summer there, where Vicky will do research for her Masters and Cristina will soak up the local culture. Vicky is engaged to be married to Doug (Chris Messina), a stalwart, likable, but rather boring young man, and Cristina is recovering from her latest breakup and looking for an artistic outlet for her pent-up creativity.