Sex and Lucia

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Sex and Lucía (Lucía y el sexo)
Lucia y el sexo poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Julio Medem
Produced byFernando Bovaira
Enrique López Lavigne
Written byJulio Medem
Music by Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography Kiko de la Rica
Edited byIván Aledo
Distributed by Warner Sogefilms A.I.E. (Spain)
Colifilms Distribution (France)
Palm Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 24 August 2001 (2001-08-24)(Spain)
  • 3 April 2002 (2002-04-03)(France)
Running time
128 minutes
LanguageSpanish, English
Box office$7.6 million [1]

Sex and Lucía (Spanish : Lucía y el sexo) is a 2001 Spanish drama film written and directed by Julio Medem, and starring Paz Vega and Tristán Ulloa. [2] [3] The film was shot on two separate locations along the Mediterranean coast in Spain and France.



Lucía (Paz Vega), a waitress, is talking on the phone with her depressed writer boyfriend Lorenzo (Tristán Ulloa) after they had a nasty argument, where, afterward, she walked out. Since he has been in a 'funk' for a while, she's worried and goes home to console him. Finding an empty apartment, Lucía is frantic. She receives a phone call from the police while finding a suicide note, and is so afraid of bad news that she hangs up, assuming the worst. They call back, but she ignores the ringing phone, packs a bag, and flees. Looking for a new beginning, Lucía travels to the mysterious Balearic Islands that Lorenzo had always talked of, but had recently been very negative about.

Six years earlier: Lorenzo is having casual sex in the ocean, on a bright moon-lit night, with a beautiful married woman he just met named Elena (Najwa Nimri). They part ways, expecting to never see each other again. She discovers she is pregnant with his child, and attempts to find him, but, not knowing much about him, is unable to.

Later, as Lorenzo talks with his literary agent (Javier Cámara) at a restaurant, discussing his writer's block, Lucía catches his attention as he gets up from his table to get cigarettes. She asks to speak to him and he joins her. She brazenly tells him that ever since she read his latest book, she has been following him and has fallen passionately in love with him. A smitten Lorenzo immediately engages the sexy, passionate Lucía and she moves into Lorenzo's apartment.

The film then interweaves the past and present, both of the characters in the film, and of the characters in Lorenzo's novel.

Lorenzo repeatedly stalls for time on his new book with his editor, while his relationship with Lucía deepens. About six years pass. Lorenzo learns he has a daughter as a result of his encounter with Elena and begins to visit the child at her school, meeting her babysitter Belén (Elena Anaya).

Belén tells Lorenzo her mother is a recently retired porn actress with a new hot boyfriend, and virtually seduces Lorenzo with chatter of sexual context and banter about her fantasies. Lorenzo uses these encounters and his fantasies about Belén and her mother as content for his book, and Lucía reads about it, thinking it fiction. Meanwhile, he does not disclose his fatherhood to Lucía or the child, nor even attempt to contact Elena.

Belén flirts with Lorenzo and eventually invites him over to Elena's house while she babysits his daughter, Luna (Silvia Llanos). Lorenzo tells Luna a bedtime story, and after she falls asleep, he and Belén begin to have sex. They are interrupted as Luna knocks at the bedroom door, and they watch in horror as the family dog, a large Rotweiler in 'protect mode', kills Luna. Belén is stunned. Lorenzo runs away and falls into a deep depression.

Lorenzo's writing turns dark, towards depraved sex and death. He anonymously contacts Elena, who has moved to the island to find solace and recall better days, and provides her a nice story about a beautiful child that loves to swim in the sea, to cheer her spirits. But his now guilt-ridden and uncommunicative relationship with Lucía begins to collapse.

Back in the present, Lucía meets a scuba diver on the island, Carlos (Daniel Freire), and through him, Elena, who runs an inn on the island. Lucía rents a room, and the women bond as friends, not knowing their intimate connection. But when Lucía mentions Lorenzo by name, and his past visit to the island long ago, Elena deduces the connection. Lucía sees a picture of Luna (looking remarkably like her father and remembering the name from Lorenzo's novel) and she makes the connection too.

Lorenzo's editor visits Lorenzo in the hospital, where he was taken after being in an 'accident', spending several weeks in recovery. When Lorenzo asks about Lucía, the editor tells Lorenzo he thinks Lucía thinks he is dead.

Lorenzo guesses Lucía is on the island and has the editor take him there. After both women discover that Lorenzo isn't dead, the three characters cope with and finally understand the entanglements of their interwoven relationships.



Sex and Lucía soon became an international success, winning Vega a Goya Award for Best Female Newcomer. The cinematography is by Kiko de la Rica, and the score by Alberto Iglesias, who also won a Goya Award for his work.

Critical response

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 71% based on 70 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.5/10. The site's consensus states: "Beneath the gratuitous nudity lies a complex and visually striking movie." [4] Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, gives the film a 65/100 rating, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [5]

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  1. Sex and Lucia at Box Office Mojo
  2. Mitchell, Elvis (12 July 2002). "FILM IN REVIEW; 'Sex and Lucía'". The New York Times .
  3. What Culture #7; Sex and Lucia
  4. Sex and Lucia at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. Sex and Lucia at Metacritic