I watched this last night. Definitely one of my favorites. Written and directed by Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is both funny and heartbreaking...a modern Annie Hall but kinder, somehow. The characters search for love, find it, fall out of it, don't have the timing right...it's all so true and real. The joy they get from love is what I came away with; the pain is terrible, but the happiness, romance, and exhilaration is worth all of it. And Allen knows that in real life love stories more often than not don't work out in perfect audience-pleasing endings, yet the memories of what they were carry us through whatever else is next. And always we have that glimmer of hope that someone else will stumble upon us and make us fall maddingly, inconveniently, unreasonably in love with them.
The movie conveys all this while poking fun at itself--there is a male 3rd person voice-over narrator who shares the thoughts of the characters in big words and sweeping metaphors. We therefore understand that the film is both a satire and painfully realistic.
Also, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are on fire. Their chemistry is electric, and they are both stunningly beautiful, sexy people. And are together in real life, which makes the movie that much better. Scarlett Johannson comes across as plain and boring when she shares the screen with them.
If you haven't seen this yet, do so immediately. A beautiful film.