Love's a Bitch (Amores Perros) movie still
Love's a Bitch (Amores Perros) movie poster

Love's a Bitch (Amores Perros) (2000)

Drama, Thriller

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writer: Guillermo Arriaga
Starring: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero

"Love is betrayal. Love is anguish. Love is sin. Love is selfish. Love is hope. Love is pain. Love is death. What is love? Love's a bitch."

The debut feature film of Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) that really put the Mexican filmmaker on the map, raising him to the status of Hollywood director,  also marks the first installment in his "Trilogy of Death", succeeded by 21 Grams and Babel.

The film is made up of three distinct stories, all involving dogs, and all linked by a car accident that brings the characters briefly together. It was often referred to as the “Mexican Pulp Fiction,” due to its fragmented, non-linear narrative. We see Octavio (Gael García Bernal) who gets into dogfighting to get money so he can run away with his abusive brother's wife, Valeria, a supermodel who loses her lap dog and who contemplates a potentially ruined career because of a severe leg injury from a car accident, and El Chivo (Emilio Echevarria), a homeless ex-school teacher turned guerrilla fighter turned hitman, with a deep love for stray dogs and a strong sense of justice, whose destinies are interconnected by the same event.

In case you're looking light to watch, Amores Perros (or Love's a Bitch, as it was loosely translated in English) is not your film. It's gritty and highly moralistic but also a story of love, lust, fear, violence, heartbreak and adrenaline, told with an original vision and cinematic style, with some fantastic and realistic characters thrown in for good measure.

Plot summary from IMDb: Three interconnected stories about the different strata of life in Mexico City all resolve with a fatal car accident. Octavio is trying to raise enough money to run away with his sister-in-law, and decides to enter his dog Cofi into the world of dogfighting. After a dogfight goes bad, Octavio flees in his car, running a red light and causing the accident. Daniel and Valeria's new-found bliss is prematurely ended when she loses her leg in the accident. El Chivo is a homeless man who cares for stray dogs and is there to witness the collision.

Awards: Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 57 wins & 17 nominations.
Runtime: 154 min



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