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The Good Life (1996)

La buena vida (original title)
This humorous movie charts the life of a 14-year-old (Tristan) as he deals with some major issues in his life. At the beginning of the movie, he has already decided to dedicate his life to ... See full summary »


David Trueba


David Trueba
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernando Ramallo ... Tristán
Lucía Jiménez ... Lucía
Luis Cuenca Luis Cuenca ... Abuelo
Isabel Otero Isabel Otero ... Isabelle
Joel Joan ... Claudio
Vicky Peña ... Madre
Jordi Bosch Jordi Bosch ... Padre
Alma Rosa Castellanos Alma Rosa Castellanos ... Marilyn Arena
Muntsa Alcañiz ... Tía Carmen
Orestes Gas Orestes Gas ... Antón
Robert Jeantal Robert Jeantal ... Don Pascual
Eloi Yebra Eloi Yebra ... Félix
Jesús Bonilla ... Asistente social
Ramón Barea ... Psicólogo
Alicia Hermida ... Flora


This humorous movie charts the life of a 14-year-old (Tristan) as he deals with some major issues in his life. At the beginning of the movie, he has already decided to dedicate his life to writing and losing his virginity (while his parents are away on holiday). Things don't quite go to plan when, at the crucial moment, the phone rings to tell him his parents have been killed in a car crash. From then, he is on his own and in control of his destiny, or at least he thinks so. Written by <alanj@pcug.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Spain | France


Spanish | French | English

Release Date:

13 December 1996 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

The Good Life See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

"Em caldria agrair-te tant temps" See more »


Featured in Más pena que Gloria (2001) See more »


Où irons nous dimanche prochain?
By Charles Trenet
Performed by Charles Trenet
Courtesy of Emi Music France
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining and sensitive movie filled with interesting roles , humor , drama and good feeling
12 November 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Enjoyable coming-of-age drama/comedy with fine actors , adequate cinematography , catching score and professional direction . This humorous as well as dramatic movie charts the life of a 14 year old , a problematic teenager called Tristan (Fernando Ramallo) . His daddy (Jordi Bosch) is living by means of small sales and his mommy (Vicky Peña) is a good-tempered housewife . Tristán is a dreamer who attempts his dreams -about Paris , Voltaire and French life- come true . At the beginning of the movie he has already decided to dedicate his life to writing and while his parents are away on holiday , in Paris , he decides to carry out a crucial action in his life . Tristán wishes losing his virginity and in pursuing this objective he will face a lot of problems . Things don't quite go to plan when he receives a phone call and to be aware an extreme distress . Soon after , he remains solitary , with only company of his grandfather (Luis Cuenca) . Both of whom trying to make a living from what might be called as simple subsistence . Meanwhile , he befriends an understanding teacher , Isabelle , (Isabel Ordaz) of his French school called ¨Moliere¨ ; Isabelle is a type of woman who shows great love for Tristán . Subsequently , Tristán will try to make love with his cousin Lucia (Lucia Jimenez) .

Fun Dramedy (comedy/drama) with touches of profanity and full of entertainment , humor , dramatic happenings and sheer amusement . Amusing Spanish comedy in which two good actors , a veteran Luis Cuenca as grandfather and a fourteen-year-old teen Tristán/Fernando Ramallo become involved into improbable situations . As Tristán/Fernando Ramallo at an essential moment the phone rings to tell him his parents have been killed in a car crash , from then he is on his own and in control of his destiny , or at least he thinks so , but things things go wrong . In this coming-of-age story the troublemaker as well as loser Tristán begins to understand what his life is . This attractive comedy contains emotion , humor , drama , twisted incidents , and amusement . This is a marvelous ode to adolescence plenty of innocence , friendship , curiosity , comradeship and family love . Director David Trueba shows these important and universal values through adolescents's minds . ¨The good life¨ is influenced by ¨400 blows¨ by Truffaut , the prestigious novel ¨El Guardian Del Centeno¨ or ¨The catcher on the rye¨ and the ¨Coming-of-age¨ stories . ¨La Buena Vida¨ is a song and an allegory to teens , where curiosity and innocence are the most characteristic attributes having adolescents as well as adults well represented . We do see the world we know each and every one of us , but from his innocent look , with much more easygoing . It is a notorious picture of great educational content , including an enjoyable , attractive message and amusing and fun scenes . Spanish cinema has a great ability in dealing with films about teenagers as well as adults , with interesting and thought-provoking messages that are a clear example of an allegory of notorious values such as nostalgic feeling , friendship , compassion , collaboration and love . The film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable , with more traps the viewer resists any kind, and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few embarrassing . The flick relies heavily on the continued relationship between grandfather and grandson , as well as the extreme wishes of Tristán to lose virginity , but it doesn't make boring but entertaining . This real wish of the protagonist is so repetitive and the most part results to be rich in absurdities and implausibilities . Nice acting by Fernando Ramallo in his film debut as an unlucky teen who has to deal with some major issues in his life , being well accompanied by an attractive Lucia Jimenez . Agreeable support cast gives good acting as the important secondaries : Luis Cuenca as grandfather , Isabel Otero , Joel Joan , Vicky Peña , Jordi Bosch , Fernando Vivanco and the recently deceased Alicia Hermida.

The picture contains a lively and evocative musical score by Antoine Duhamel , including some wonderful French songs . And colorful and glimmer cinematography by William Lubtchansky . The motion picture was compellingly directed by David Trueba, getting a considerable hit smash . It won several Goya Awards and nominations 1997 : Won Goya Best Supporting Actor to Luis Cuenca , Nominated Goya Best New Actress to Lucía Jiménez , Best New Director to David Trueba , Best Original Screenplay to David Trueba ; Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 1997 Won Special Prize of the Jury to David Trueba , Crystal Globe to David Trueba ; It Won Sant Jordi 1997 Best Spanish Actor to Luis Cuenca and it Won Turia Award Best First Work to David Trueba . David Trueba was born (1969) in Madrid, location in which he often shoots his films . Married to Ariadna Gil , though nowadays separated and he is younger brother of Fernando Trueba and brother-in-law of Cristina Huete who along with Andres Vicente Gomez produced him a lot of films . David is a nice writer , such as : ¨The girl of your eyes¨ and ¨Perdita Durango¨ (1997). Known for comedies such as ¨The good life¨ , ¨Masterpiece¨ , ¨Madrid 1987¨ , ¨Welcome home¨ and , of course , his greatest hit : "Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed" in which Goyas landed in the laps of director David Trueba , as he film won best picture, director, screenplay, actor, new actor, and soundtrack . Rating ¨The good life¨ : Better than average , 6.5/10 . Well worth watching .

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