The Son of the Bride and Tiramisu

(El hijo de la novia y Tiramisú)

I have a terribly sweet tooth and one of my favourite deserts is Tiramisu, of which I have a few humorous anecdotes to tell, but not here, unless of course you ask. Surprisingly, the 2001 Argentinean comedy-drama film, El hijo de la novia, The Son of the Bride, springs to mind, a cinematic masterpiece directed by Juan José Campanella [1]. But, why a desert of Italian origin should be discussed in a blog about Spanish language and culture, should come as no surprise, to those of you who follow my blogs. We will look at this later.

El hijo de la novia - photo DVD Cover

The Son of the Bride is a homage to the fragility of human dreams and pursuits. An ode to the ephemeral nature of life, which at times needs to be sweetened, as in the film, with a taste of Tiramisu.

The Hijo de la novia, brings together an exceptional cast of Argentinean actors and actresses and it is mainly two stories that run parallel paths. In the film, the Belvedere family reveal the loves of two different generations: Rafael played by Ricardo Darín and Naty, Rafael’s girlfriend (Natalia Verbeke); Nino, his father (Héctor Alterio) and his mother Norma (Norma Aleandro). The narrative of the film develops the idea of love confronting the vulnerability of life, its fragility and its endurance.

Nino is genuinely in love with Norma after 40 years together. He is burdened by the guilt that he did not fulfill, in his youth, Norma’s wish of marrying in a church and he wants to make amends. However, Norma suffers with Alzheimer’s, and is not aware of Nino’s scheme to put things right. Norma still appears to know those who she always loved. The remarkable performance of the actress, Norma Aleandro, gave me goosebumps and left me with a lump in my throat.

Norma Aleandro Argentinean icon, film and television actress, who starred in many awarded winning films.

Norma Aleandro, Argentinean icon, film and television actress, who starred in many award winning films.

In the context of Argentina’s perennial economic woes, Rafael runs a restaurant and faces the struggle of a man’s midlife crisis, including his relationship with his girlfriend Naty. She feels excluded because he puts his own self limitations and selfishness before love.  Will he find what is true and meaningful in his life?

The Son of the Bride

Natalia Verbeke, Argentinean-Spanish film, theatre and television actress in her great performance as Naty, in The Son of the Bride.

This is a film that crosses the boundaries of love stories and explores the contradictions of the Catholic Church. When the priest refuses to marry his parents on the grounds of ill health, Rafael takes the opportunity to show the priest how detached the Church is from the real world. It is over these sequences of events that Rafael begins to discover what is essential in his life.

El hijo de la novia develops gently in so many layers, as with the layers of Tiramisu; and although during the film the whole recipe is not revealed, we are given a clue as to its key component: mascarpone cheese.

Hoy compramos mascarpone. El especial del día, Tiramisú Norma.

“Today we buy mascarpone. The daily special, Tiramisu Norma”; Rafael instructs Pacheco, the cook in his restaurant, making the point that a Tiramisu cannot be made with any cream cheese, even during the financial crisis that the whole country is going through.

Tiramisu 1

In El hijo de la novia there are images and silent scenes that say more than a thousand words. There are also eloquent dialogues that stayed with me long after the film finished. I hope these dialogues will impact upon Spanish students and trigger a further debate (in Spanish of course).

Italian in origin, Tiramisu has become part of Latin American and particularly Argentinean Cuisine. In the absence of a Tiramisu recipe in the film, I would like to share the delicious Tiramisu recipe from my family, a super-dooper delicious one, from my beloved auntie and godmother Celia. The recipe will be available in my next blog.

¡Hasta la próxima!

El hijo de la novia.Footnotes

[1] A copy of the complete film El hijo de la novia in Spanish without subtitles can be found in YouTube, please click here.

A copy of a DVD of The son of the bride, with English subtitles, can be obtained from

… …

This article is part of the series: Recipes from the big screen. See Spanish and Latin American Cuisine (Part1) – Recetas de películasand Recipes from the big screen. See Spanish and Latin American Cuisine (Part2) A Recipe for Almond Cake. Why is This Recipe so Special?


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About hoxton spanish tutor info

Hi, my name is Adrian Sanchez. I am passionate about words and languages, particularly Spanish, the language I learned at my mother’s knee. I am curious about how languages change and evolve. I am a qualified Spanish Teacher (CLTA) and a journalist. I have taught in literacy campaigns in Latin America and given Spanish tuition in Spain and in the UK. I would like to share some of my thoughts on the Spanish language; and particularly on what I have learned from my students, who in many ways have become my teachers throughout the years. Spanish is a vast and beautiful language and I would like you to accompany me on a journey of discoveries. You can visit my blog here: Email: Thank you!

13 responses to “The Son of the Bride and Tiramisu”

  1. Alison Maxwell says :

    Ahora tengo hambre – para comer y para ver una película buena!


  2. Hugo Isa says :

    Hermosa peli, gracias por recordarla.


  3. says :

    Thank you for following my blog. I look forward to reading more of yours.


  4. Ace Worldwide News Group says :

    Reblogged this on ' Ace Social & Media News ' and commented:
    Really nice and love Tirimasu thanks for sharing Ian 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  5. agenda19892010 says :

    Tiramisu the Italian recipe! Grande. 😊


  6. Veronica says :

    Amigo mío, leo y me pongo al día mientras disfruto (siento en mi paladar el sabor del tiramisú, ¡un atentado contra mi dieta!) la lectura y tu reseña de la película que rescata, creo yo, el costado más humano. Nunca es tarde para concederle importancia a lo importante. 🙂
    Un beso.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hoxton spanish tutor info says :

      He visto esta película varias veces en los últimos años y siempre descubro otro ángulo de interpretación. Sí, nunca es tarde para concederle importancia a lo que es verdaderamente relevante 😉 … como leer tu blog que disfruto mucho.

      Un abrazo grande.


      Liked by 1 person

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  1. As promised: Tiramisu recipe | Hoxton Spanish Tutor Info - 03/12/2015

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