There are Spanish musical films that have been a complete success, such as The Call (2017) or The Other Side of the Bed (2002). But the cinema had a pending account with the tributes. They have been made with British music, as in Un, dos, tres, al hide-and-seek (1969) or with Rafaella Carrà, in Explota, explodes (2020) and rarely with a national singer or band. Never in condition. I'm going to have a good time, which hits theaters on August 12, has come to fill that gap.
The director David Serrano has transformed Valladolid into his childhood city, where electric scooters are exchanged for Peugeots 205, music is not heard from a mobile phone but from a walkman, and at parties where trap now plays, they return to it making Hombres G. The result is a well-measured exercise in nostalgia, but above all in music for all audiences, including those who don't buy into the genre. "Sometimes musicals are viewed with rejection and concern," Serrano admits to elDiario.es. Because of that, he promises that I'm Going to Have a Good Time "isn't going to make people who hate the musical bored or uncomfortable."
Mission accomplished: the film pastes the choreography into a simple plot of teenage love and reunion and everything makes sense. The musical genre is a tough nut to crack that has resisted the bite of the most renowned director. But Serrano knows the sector – he has directed works such as Grease and Billy Elliot, and scripted the film and the sequel to The Other Side of the Bed – and he knew in advance the mistakes he did not want to make.
"In La La Land they were super smart. They have four big numbers and then small musical moments, and I admit that I have copied their script structure," he says between laughs. I did not want to add more so as not to "tire the public", something complicated when the repertoire belongs to one of the most prolific groups from Spain. "We have had to leave many songs out of nowhere, but we are very satisfied with the result", assure the members of Hombres G in conversation with elDiario.es. The four have been very involved in the production of Voy a pasármelo bien , but without exceeding in decisions that did not correspond to them.
They also recognize that "putting music from the beginning to the end of the film can saturate", no matter how complicated the screening is. The four big numbers have been mounted on I'm going to have a good time, I love you, Let your hair down and Two magnets, although Marta has a pacemaker, Venezia or Sufre mamón in acoustic format could not be missing.
"Men G have played on the entire soundtrack and the only thing they have done has been to support and give their opinion respectfully. It has been a great luxury, because there is every Martian..." reveals David Serrano. He says that the latter, among others, is the reason why there has not been a great cinematographic tribute to Spanish music until now.
"Due to my work in the musical genre, I have met great stars, groups, soloists of Spanish music. And I have to say that Hombres G are the only normal and nice ones. People who row in favor", reveals Serrano. He wrote the script to adapt the musical Today I Can't Get Up for the cinema during the brief period that the project lasted and had the opposite experience. "It wasn't made because of production problems and with the Cano brothers, but it would have been a great success in Spain and Mexico. In theater it had more than three million viewers. It's a shame," he recalls.
He doesn't think it's because the genre doesn't catch on in Spain, but for more tangible reasons: money and the honoree's choice. Although there is also a part of prejudice. "The other side of the bed was a script that spent two or three years moving through all the television stations in Spain and in the end Telecinco opted for it, but they did so by deceiving the people who were at the top and telling them that it only had small brushstrokes musicals. They had to deceive their own bosses to get it off the ground," recalls the director.
On the other hand, "the musical genre is very complex, it takes a long time and it is very expensive". I'm Going to Have a Good Time has scenes with a hundred extras and dancers, where the camera makes impossible tracking shots and which have required rehearsal for five months with the actors. "It's hard to find and drop the dough, they are complicated films to finance," says Serrano. It is also not trivial that they have chosen familiar faces and stars of hits such as Eight Basque surnames (Dani Rovira), The Minimum Island (Raúl Arévalo) or The Great Spanish Family (Roberto Álamo) to complete the casting. But the hardest part was finding the soundtrack.
"The songs and the group have to be powerful enough to encourage people to go see the film," sums up the director. For him, "Men G is the most important group of the 80s along with Mecano and they have so many followers that they gave us clues about the potential audience." The people of Madrid want to prolong the phenomenon that they represented at the time, in "years of great darkness and much sinister", as they describe, and for this, they continue to embark on all kinds of projects. "We work to enlarge our brand and add to the great project of our lives that is Hombres G", recognizes the vocalist, David Summers. A hook to nostalgia that also explodes I'm going to have a good time.
David Serrano's film arrives at a peculiar moment for cinema. The theaters are juggling to tear the public from the sofa at home and an unexpected winner has emerged: Santiago Segura and the third installment of There is only one Father, released in mid-July, which They have saved the Spanish box office, becoming the film of the year with the most viewers. A family (and Christmas) comedy has given exhibitors hope and seems to have paved the way for the Hombres G musical. But its director assures that it is an advantage due to chance.
"It was not a strategy," promises Serrano. "They offered me this three and a half years ago, and there Santiago had made the first part of his film. This miracle was still not intuited," he says. On the other hand, after making the Billy Elliot musical in Madrid, the director "very much wanted I'm Going to Have a Good Time to be a movie with kids". Both the two protagonists –Izan Fernández and Renata Hermida– and the charismatic secondary characters carry the weight of the songs on their shoulders, which is a success because most of them come from musical theater.
This movie is a tribute to Hombres G, but above all to nostalgia. The four adults who reminisce about their school life, their friendship and their first loves do so not just from memory, but with their own miniature versions that move to the rhythm of eighties pop. "It was my first group and the first cassette that I paid for with my own money, they couldn't be others", says Serrano. "In the 80s, people of our generation liked us and our parents liked us because we were simple and normal people. They were not our fans, but at least they had fun listening to us," say Hombres G.
Those kids are the ones who today will take the generation of trap and reggaeton to the movies, but they believe that the feeling will be the same. "We have achieved what we wanted, which is to transmit good vibes to people and that they come to the cinema to have a good time, as the title of the film and the song say. It is very important at this time to make content that transmits beautiful emotions", Summers concludes.