Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The sexy, psycho Mad Love is like a Spanish "The Story of Adele H.," in which a woman loves once and only once, to the point of self-destruction, in the days before Prozac.
  2. Sexy, peculiar and always entertaining.
  3. Ayala gives Joan a fiery, full-blooded passion and Aranda challenges Pedro Almodovar in the arena of self-destructive love, obsessive passion and sweaty cinematic sex. It's the lustiest costume drama in years.
  4. Succeeds as a full-bodied diversion because it takes even its silly elements seriously. If you're in the mood for impressive castles and sumptuous costumes, torch-lit processions and decorative nudity, this is the place to turn.
  5. A bodice-ripper for intellectuals.
  6. 70
    At 75, Aranda can still make his actors sizzle on the screen as well as he did 10 years ago in "Lovers." The explicitly hot bits here may be few and far between, but what there is of them is choice.
  7. 63
    Star Pilar Lopez de Ayala is such a feisty, striking presence, and the film so conventional in its depiction of a jealous and insatiable love, that it is hard to see Juana as anything other than a typical soap opera heroine.
  8. 63
    It's López de Ayala's show, and she's relentless in her energy and passion.
  9. 60
    Lavishly costumed and shot largely on location, the film benefits from a phenomenal central performance by Lopez de Ayala.
  10. 60
    de Ayala is required to supply too much of the energy in a film that is, overall, far too staid for its subject matter.
  11. 60
    At heart it's a randy, oversexed soap opera in period garb.
  12. 60
    An often watchable, though goofy and lurid, blast of a costume drama set in the late 15th century.
  13. 50
    Pleasing to the eye, with lavish sets, ravishing costumes and two great-looking stars. Unfortunately, there is little else to recommend this overwrought, melodramatic bodice-ripper.
  14. 50
    Like an ''Afterschool Special'' with costumes by Gianni Versace, Mad Love looks better than it feels.
  15. Nothing more or less than an outright bodice-ripper -- it should have ditched the artsy pretensions and revelled in the entertaining shallows.
  16. Reviewed by: Collin Levey
    50
    Despite being a pretty film with some good performances, it's hard to sympathize with a character that won't help herself. More proof, if we need it, that mixing sex and politics only leads to trouble.
  17. 42
    Accuracy and realism are terrific, but if your film becomes boring, and your dialogue isn't smart, then you need to use more poetic license.
  18. Pretty to look at, tamely racy, and fairly fluffy, despite its two-hour running time.
  19. Adroit but finally a trifle flat, Mad Love doesn't galvanize its outrage the way, say, Jane Campion might have done, but at least it possesses some.

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