Vicky, the more practical and traditional of the two, is engaged to be married and pairs up with friend, Christina, a spontaneous non-conformist, to explore the sunburned land. During a trip to Oviedo, the pair meets Juan Antonio (played by Javier Bardem) and the love-triangle begins. Christina instantly falls for the artist, whereas Vicky plays the cautious friend keeping a watchful eye.
After a bout of illness for Christina, Vicky succumbs to Juan Antonio's affection as he relays the the tumultuous history with his ex-wife, María Elena (played by Penélope Cruz); the new couple grows closer without Christina knowing.
Back in Barcelona, the friends eventually grow apart and Christina moves in with Juan Antonio. His ex-wife re-enters the picture after a botched suicide attempt and the trio then begins to relate to each other, with Christina and María Elena striking something deeper than friendship.
In true Allen style, all of this (and more) dysfunction gets easily swept under the rug upon their return to the U.S.A. and the audience is left both entwined in the lives of the characters and in love with Spain.
Few cities work as well as Barcelona as a backdrop for a film, and it surely doesn't disappoint with narrow alleyways for covert trysts and lush green plains perfect for a picnic. With glimpses of iconic sites from the Catalan city, like Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, and Casa Milà, the city is truly on showcase. This film embodies Spanish energy and passion and had us longing for a few leisurely plates of pintxos and a jug of sangria in any one of the number of local bars.