Spanish Affair (2014 film)

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Spanish Affair
Ocho apellidos vascos poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
SpanishOcho apellidos vascos
Directed byEmilio Martínez-Lázaro
Written by
CinematographyGonzalo F. Berridi
Juan Molina
Distributed byUniversal Studios
Release date
  • 14 March 2014 (2014-03-14)
Running time
98 minutes
BudgetUS$3 million
Box officeUS$78.7 million

Spanish Affair (Spanish: Ocho apellidos vascos; lit.'Eight Basque surnames') is a 2014 Spanish comedy film directed by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro.[1] It premiered in Spain on 14 March 2014. Six weeks after its release, it became the second biggest box office hit ever in Spain, behind Avatar.[2]


Rafa (Dani Rovira) has never left his native Seville, Andalusia, until he meets a Basque girl named Amaia (Clara Lago), who resists his seduction techniques. Against his friends' advice, he follows her to the Basque Country after she stays the night in his house and forgets her purse. A series of misunderstandings forces Rafa to impersonate a Basque boasting of a stock featuring eight traditional Basque surnames (Gabilondo, Urdangarín, Zubizarreta, Arguiñano from the father and Igartiburu, Erentxun, Otegi and Clemente from the mother, even though Clemente is not authentically Basque),[3][n. 1] and he gets more and more entangled in that character in order to please Amaia.


  • Dani Rovira as Rafael "Rafa" Quirós / Antxón
  • Clara Lago as Amaia
  • Karra Elejalde as Koldo
  • Carmen Machi as Merche / Anne
  • Alberto López as Joaquín
  • Alfonso Sánchez as Curro
  • Lander Otaola as Borroka
  • Abel Mora as Pedro
  • Aitor Mazo as Father Inaxio
  • Aitziber Garmendia as Iratxe
  • Miriam Cabeza as Edurne
  • Santi Ugalde as Kepa
  • Los del Río as themselves

Box office[edit]

The weekend of its premiere, the film gathered an audience of 404,020 which resulted in box office grossing of 2.72 million euros.[5] On its second weekend its grossing increased by 56%, third best behind The Impossible and Avatar in its first ten days with a total 4.4 million euros.[6] By April it became the most watched Spanish film in Spain with more than 6.5 million viewers and the second film with the greatest box office grossing in Spain, only behind Avatar, with a box-office of more than 45 million euros (more than 62 million dollars).[7] It has grossed US$77 million in Spain[8] and a total of US$78.7 million internationally.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

The critics were divided about the film, but were mostly positive. For magazine Cinemanía, Carlos Marañón stressed that the movie was "extremely funny".[10] This comment was repeated in many reviews that highlighted the film is "funny",[11] and for some, "inspired and bright".[12] Federico Marín Bellón journalist of ABC, spoke of a "brave and timely movie",[11] highlighting another aspect, the opportunity of its theme, which has also been emphasized by most critics who often compared it to the French film Welcome to the Sticks. Writing for daily newspaper El País, Borja Valero even predicted it could be the movie of the year.[13]

Regarding the actors, in general, the work of the cast has been well received by critics .

On the negative side, Luis Martínez from El Mundo, said that the film is "a bad comedy"[14] while Jordi Costa, from El País, said the development was irregular and ended catastrophically. Fausto Fernández, in the magazine Fotogramas, labelled it as impersonal and described its development as flat.[15]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2015 20th Forqué Awards Best Fiction Feature Film Nominated [16]
Best Actor Karra Elejalde Nominated
2nd Feroz Awards Best Comedy Nominated [17]
Best Supporting Actor Karra Elejalde Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Carmen Machi Nominated
Best Trailer Nominated
29th Goya Awards Best Supporting Actor Karra Elejalde Won [18]
Best Supporting Actress Carmen Machi Won
Best New Actor Dani Rovira Won
Best Cinematography Kalo Berridi Nominated
Best Original Song "No te marches jamás" by Fernando Velázquez Nominated
24th Actors and Actresses Union Awards Best Film Actress in a Leading Role Clara Lago Nominated [19][20]
Best Film Actress in a Secondary Role Carmen Machi Won
Best Film Actor in a Secondary Role Karra Elejalde Won


A sequel, Ocho apellidos catalanes (English: Eight Catalan Surnames) was released on 20 November 2015. Emilio Martínez-Lázaro repeated as director and Borja Cobeaga and Diego San José repeated as screenwriters. The original cast was joined by Berto Romero, Rosa Maria Sardà and Belén Cuesta.[21]

Informational notes[edit]


  1. ^ Holland, Jonathan. "Spanish Affair (Ocho apellidos vascos): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  2. ^ "A 'Ocho apellidos vascos' solo le queda por delante 'Avatar'; EL PAÍS". 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
  3. ^ Buse, Peter; Toribio, Nuria Triana (2015). "Ocho apellidos vascos and the Comedy of Minor Differences" (PDF). Romance Quarterly. 62 (4): 229–241. doi:10.1080/08831157.2015.1068637. S2CID 162888460.
  4. ^ Deveny, Thomas G. (2019). Spanish Cinema of the New Millennium: And the Winners Are... The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9781789380071.
  5. ^ por José A. Romero. "'Ocho apellidos vascos' coge la ola de 'lo posible' - El Corso". Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  6. ^ "'Ocho apellidos vascos' revienta la taquilla. El Correo". Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  7. ^ "'Ocho apellidos vascos' duplica su taquilla en su segundo fin de semana | Cultura | EL PAÍS". 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  8. ^ Scott Roxborough (2014-12-22). "Box Office: 8 International Hits That Challenged the Studio Tentpoles". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  9. ^ Nancy Tartaglione and David Bloom (January 10, 2015). "'Transformers 4′ Tops 2014's 100 Highest-Grossing International Films – Chart". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Cinemanía. "Ocho apellidos vascos". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  11. ^ a b Diario ABC. "Crítica de "Ocho apellidos vascos" (***): Euskadi tiene un sabor especial". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  12. ^ La Vanguardia. ""8 apellidos vascos": Bienvenidos al norte". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  13. ^ El País. "España/Euskadi: la película". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  14. ^ El Mundo. "Por fin unas risas con el País Vasco".
  15. ^ Fotogramas. "Ocho apellidos vascos". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  16. ^ Morales Fernández, Clara (12 January 2015). "Los Premios Forqué coronan a 'La isla mínima'". El País.
  17. ^ "Lista de nominados a los Premios Feroz 2015". Premios Feroz (in Spanish). 17 December 2014. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Candidaturas - Ocho apellidos vascos". Premios Goya (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Nominaciones a los Premios de la Unión de Actores". Fotogramas. 10 February 2015.
  20. ^ "'La isla mínima' también triunfa en los Premios Unión de Actores". Fotogramas. 10 March 2015.
  21. ^ El País. "'Ocho apellidos catalanes' se estrenará el 20 de noviembre".