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[Fantasia ’21] ‘Ghosting Gloria’ review: A paranormal rom-com

A love story about sex, ghosts, and books.

Ghosting Gloria is a romantic comedy from Uruguay directed by Marcela Matta and Mauro Sarcer. A lonely woman moves into a house and finds herself in a relationship with her roommate, the deceased tenant. Does anyone else have a chance with Gloria when her ghost boyfriend never complains, interrupts, and always lets her decide where to go for dinner? Find out in this quirky story about sex and love in unconventional places. 

There is something nostalgic about this film that makes it feel like an offbeat romance from the early 90’s. Gloria (Sofia Tortorella), works at a cozy bookstore with her micromanaging boss Gustavo (Mauro Sarcer) and sexually adventurous coworker Sandra (Nene Pelenur). Throughout her day she is constantly reminded of her single status while she patiently answers the most inane questions from customers. Her sexual awakening occurs when she wakes up to a ghost having his way with her. She is hesitant at first, but then consents, opening up a world of desires she never knew existed. 

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[Fantasia '21] 'Ghosting Gloria' review: A paranormal rom-com

Matta and Mauro’s story is an interesting and complicated one. The classic tropes of the romance genre are present, but there is a different layer. Issues of consent, the dangers of isolation, and mental health are examined in the character of Gloria. Stefania Tortorella is charming as Gloria, an introverted woman who is not sure what she wants, but learns that she loves orgasms. Gloria has a love of books and the film poses a question about how fantasy can harm or distort our reality. 

[Fantasia '21] 'Ghosting Gloria' review: A paranormal rom-com

The writing is clever and funny, but the pacing is a bit off. Some of the drama and comedy are extended and it tends to muddle the tone. However, the characters remain enjoyable and the story engaging. Ghosting Gloria is a sexy comedy about finding out what you really want and taking necessary risks. Ghosting Gloria is also very sex positive and shows how the most non traditional experiences may lead to understanding more about identity and individuality. Ghosting Gloria is currently playing at the Fantasia Festival.

The Fantasia Film Festival takes place in person and online from August 5 – August 25

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