I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me (2023) – Movie Review/Summary

“I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me” is a bit of a sluggish film that tries to compensate by giving you violence and sexual situations, but its leads may not be enough to keep you watching for two hours.


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Juan Pablo (Dario Yazbek Bernal)

General Information

Director(s)

Fernando Frias De La Parra

Screenplay By

Fernando Frias De La Parra

Based On The Novel By

Juan Pablo Villalobos

Date Released

November 22, 2023

Released Via

Netflix

Genre(s)

Crime

Drama

Romance

Young Adult

Non-English (Spanish)

Film Length

1 Hour 57 Minutes

Content Rating

Rated TV-MA

Noted Characters and Cast

Juan Pablo

Dario Yazbek Bernal

Valentina

Natalia Solián

The Lawyer

Alexis Ayala

Film Summary

Within a week of Juan Pablo and Valentina being excited about moving abroad to Barcelona from Mexico to pursue higher education, Juan Pablo’s cousin is murdered in front of him, and his often scheming cousin’s “Project” ends up being something Juan Pablo is dragged into. Because of this, he now finds himself dealing with the criminal underworld, with the highest point he meets being known as “The Lawyer,” who threatens Juan Pablo’s family, Valentina and makes his life an utter living hell day by day, week to week, and has him drag people into his misery.

Content Rating Explanation

  • Dialog: Cursing Throughout
  • Violence: Depiction of Murder, gun violence and blood
  • Sexual Content: Nudity, pornographic videos, and sex scenes
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking and drug use

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Juan Pablo

Juan Pablo (Dario Yazbek Bernal)
“Juan Pablo (Dario Yazbek Bernal),” I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me, directed by Fernando Frias De La Parra, 2023, (Netflix)

Juan Pablo is a writer whose original focus for his doctorate was supposed to be, in lamens terms, how people decide what is and what isn’t funny. However, thanks to The Lawyer, he finds himself modifying his thesis and, being associated with and witnessing a multitude of crimes, and questioning whether there is a way out as he finds himself trapped in a situation his cousin caused.

Valentina

Natalia Solian as Valentina
“Natalia Solian as Valentina,” I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me, directed by Fernando Frias De La Parra, 2023, (Netflix)

Valentina is Juan Pablo’s girlfriend who his mother doesn’t approve of, but she seems to be a great match for him. She is smart, pursuing her master’s, and isn’t afraid of hard work. However, as Juan Pablo distances himself from Valentina or exploits her due to being pushed to by The Lawyer, their relationship turns sour, and she is unsure if she should try to save it or let him go.

The Lawyer

Alexia Ayala as The Lawyer and Dario Yazbek Bernal as Juan Pablo
“Alexia Ayala as The Lawyer and Dario Yazbek Bernal as Juan Pablo,” I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me, directed by Fernando Frias De La Parra, 2023, (Netflix)

A part of an international crime organization, The Lawyer isn’t above blackmail and having people killed for what he wants. But it isn’t always clear what his end game is.

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. Do you think Juan Pablo was smart not to tell Valentina what was happening?

Review


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Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

Two Interesting Stories Going On At Once

“I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me” is essentially split between Juan Pablo’s story and Valentina. Yes, most of Valentina’s storyline is in reaction to Juan Pablo’s, but there is still something there. As you watch her become alienated, pushed away, try to find another lover, maybe even friends, and lose herself in the pursuit of that, you see the highs and lows of what love can do. Because of Juan Pablo, she moved across the Atlantic, from all she knew to a foreign country that may speak the same language but is her country’s colonizer. Which, from how she is spoken to, about, or sometimes referred, while the othering isn’t always apparent, it is there.

Though, the kicker is, you can see multiple chances that Valentina had to break off and be with people who could forward her education and career, yet love bridled her. And all the while, you see her do uncomfortable things for Juan Pablo, including having sex with a woman, and yet you’re strangely pushed not necessarily to see Juan Pablo as a villain. Rather, he, too, is a victim.

Yes, he could go to the police, but as The Lawyer makes clear, who and what he knows has no limits. So, Juan Pablo could go to the police, but he saw what happened to his cousin and others. They would get killed, and it would look like an accident or suicide. If not them just disappearing after it being pushed they were alive days, if not weeks, after they were killed.

Seeing what Valentina could do paired with what Juan Pablo has no choice but to do allowed there to be some kind of push to keep watching, despite the low points that can feel compensated for with violence or sex.

On The Fence

I Can Easily Imagine People Getting Bored Of This

“I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me” is just about 2 hours, and honestly, if it wasn’t for wanting to know how this ends, I can’t imagine continuing to watch. We never learn what the end goal of The Lawyer is besides power. Watching the underdog in Juan Pablo never give any sign he can potentially come out on top makes this a slugfest, and while Valentina does have the potential to have a more interesting storyline, she is never allowed to break away from Juan Pablo, even when he is in the throughs of messing around with someone else to do The Lawyer’s bidding.

This makes it so that you don’t have much to get into unless you become hooked on what could happen to Juan Pablo and Valentina, or love their characters, especially since their friends and family don’t add much, if anything, beyond being a soundboard, in the case of Valentina’s sister, or an annoying phone call, in the case of Juan Pablo’s mother.

Who Is This For?

Those who can enjoy movies in which the protagonist may not get the upper hand and the lives he ruined on his journey may not get better.

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I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me (2023) – Movie Review

Summary

“I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me” seems meant to be divisive. You can’t cut or add much without changing what the film is supposed to be, so it ultimately seems meant to tell a story, be art, rather than entertainment to be consumed by the masses.

Overall
77%
77%
  • Two Interesting Stories Going On At Once - 81%
    81%
  • I Can Easily Imagine People Getting Bored Of This - 73%
    73%

Highlight(s)

  • Two Interesting Stories Going On At Once

Disputable

  • I Can Easily Imagine People Getting Bored Of This

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