Alejandro Doria was one of those rare directors who managed to combine laugh-out-loud comedy with biting criticism of the social constraints of machismo that cause women and men to suffer.
He was best known for two comedies that parody the prejudices and sexism of the Argentine middle class–“Esperando la Carroza” and “100 veces no debo”. While my take might be considered a bit odd–most Argentines would consider him just to be a comedy director–last night they showed these two films on TV and I couldn´t believe how biting they were. In “100 veces no debo” the leading actress, Andrea del Boca, at 18, declares to her astonished parents that she loves having sex because everything else bores her (the fabulous Norma Alejandro and Luis Brandoni). Strong stuff, especially considering that in the beginning of the movie she was “Daddy´s little girl”:
Watching these two films in particular is like watching an anthropological study on a certain sector of Argentine society, the one that “pays their taxes when there is no way to get out of it” (as the father says in 100 veces no debo), that yells, screams and fights more than any Italian family, that expects women to stay at home and make raviolies BUT is not shocked when these women leave the house to meet up with a lover, that admires the rich uncle who made his money with the mafia, that above all else values family (or at least says it does to the neighbors).
Alejandro Doria died at the age of 72. The best homage that could be paid to him is to make movies that make the audience laugh and reflect.
From Esperando la Corroza, when the family begins to mourn their “dead” grandmother, and fight over the corpse (even though in life, no one wanted to take care of the grandmother).