The earlier film entitled "In Praise of Older Women" had a momentous part to play in helping the Canadian film industry to get firmly on its own two feet. The novel itself upon which it and this later Spanish film, too, were based had been a strong seller and were of real influence abroad, too, as well as in the Dominion of Canada. The Canadian motion picture based upon the novel (ThinkFilm TF-1165 being one of its DVD editions), which bears the novel's own primary English title, was epoch-making in Canadian film history and very daring for the Canada of 1978.
So great so was the book's lasting appeal abroad, on the other hand, that this led, in 1997 in Spain, to the appearance, from Lolafilms, of this other zesty but less sexually sizzling film, "En brazos de la mujer madura" (Studio Latino DVD-22142-1), which based itself more loosely upon the book, setting the action in Spain during, and just after, the Spanish Civil War, ending at an earlier point in the story, and that featured actor Juan Diego Botto as the pleasingly handsome and sexually adventurous young man (of whose naked flesh, alas, one beholds much less than one sees of Tom Berenger's in the earlier film). As for the Canadian movie, it may be rather neglected today, but it once it had been quite controversial and wildly successful (both by Canada's standards) and even helped in no small part to topple Ontario film censorship from its privileged but utterly prudish and barbaric position at the time (1978 was the year of release, the film dating 1977 in the end credits). The Spanish approximate remake did not exert such a strong influence and, in fact, seems a bit tame, sexually, compared to the Canadian film.
Juan Diego Botto, appealingly lean-and-lanky with a sensuous face and taut body, undergoes a remarkable transformation from boyishly awkward, shy youth to sleekly sexy 20s-something early adulthood, visually being as convincing as the 15-years-old teenager as he is later in the film as an adventurously amourous university student. In that regard, he outdoes even Tom Berenger in making that transformation, though Berenger, too, is credible as a guy in his mid-teens, 20s, and onwards to early 30s.
The Spanish film is set during the Spanish Civil War and its immediate aftermath. (The attempted revolution depicted in the Canadian film was the one which occurred during the mid-1950s in Hungary.) The scruffy countryside and towns in Spain's rural areas contrast markedly with the scenes in Barcelona, where, reunited, the mother's peacetime trajectory and her lusty son's studies take them. The film ends (abruptly it seems to someone having seen the earlier Canadian version of the story, which continues the novel's story further into the young man's future) at his departure from Spain to the Western Hemisphere, to Argentina, rather than (as filmed at locations in Montréal, partly simulating Budapest) from Hungary to Canada, as in in the earlier movie).
The movies differ so much in locale and in alike details and larger aspects of plot, that it is counter-productive to compare the Spanish one to the Canadian film too closely. Each of them is highly enjoyable on its own terms, but the Canadian movie, much more explicitly erotic, is the one that well may more rewardingly bear repeated viewings than the Spanish one would do so for most viewers.