Simple threats of disinheritance have no power over Jose; he'd rather abandon everything (even his car) to be with his beloved Silvia. Anyway, Manuel has no problem with Silvia, thus Conchita has to act rather slyly and without the knowledge of either Jose or Manuel. A lucky break comes her way when a bunch of local men drop by the factory to audition for a new advertising campaign, although this merely involves standing around and living up to the company motto (You've got a Samson inside). One of the hopefuls catches Silvia's eye, a young, well-hung delivery man. Cocky, muscular and oozing sex appeal Raul (Javier Bardem) should have no trouble drawing Silvia from Jose.
It's a shame that no one bothered to tell Silvia because as soon as Raul makes his move (which involves a pig and a clove of garlic), she gives him the cold shoulder. Inevitably this just drives him wild, imagining that Silvia is playing hard-to-get. Meanwhile Jose still hasn't successfully broached the touchy subject of Silvia with Conchita - each time he mentions her name his mother shrieks and feigns a headache. The problem is - he has no balls (and proving that he has with Carmen doesn't solve a thing). In contrast, Raul has balls-a-plenty, though not much else, and this is an undeniable attraction to both Silvia and Conchita.
Jamon, Jamon is outrageously and ridiculously lusty, packed with sweaty sex and hasty fumbling. The incredible succession of partner swapping allows plenty of shamelessly erotic moments, tinged with the humour and absurdity which comes as part of the package. A fine cross-talk between the themes of food (garlic, ham, omelettes), machismo (bull-fighting, Samson boxer shorts) and sexual attraction pulls the film together into a terrifically heady ride. Such a paella could easily be mishandled but in Jamon, Jamon there are no regrets or misplaced morality - these people are out to have fun.
The tragedy is that such hedonism mixed with underhanded scheming leads to disaster, a collision of coincidences with fatal results. That the earlier joyous melodrama should shudder to a halt in this way is jarring but, with all that goes on, understandable. Beyond this confusion Jamon, Jamon has few elements which stand out. The score is fairly energetic and bouncy and some scenes are well constructed, whilst the remainder is technically serviceable. Interestingly, although the standard of acting is thoroughly average this doesn't particularly detract from Jamon, Jamon. The point is that these people look good and get twisted up in emotional contradictions all of their own making, without any pretense towards reality being made. It doesn't make for a classic movie but any opportunity to see a moonlit, naked bullfight is worth taking at least once.