Synopsis by Mark Deming
A Spanish teenager learns about love, death, and oral hygiene in this bittersweet coming-of-age story. David (Biel Duran) is a 16-year-old growing up on the poor side of Madrid. His father Rafael (Fernando Conde) earns his living as a baker, and his mother Carmen (Asuncion Planas) looks after him as well as his older sister Marta (Pilar Duque) and his little brother Lucas (Manuel Lozano). As David deals with the traditional frustrations of adolescence, he also has to come to terms with the failing health of his grandmother (Maria Galiana), who has moved in with the family as she sinks into physical and emotional decline. He also must struggle to get along with his gym teacher (Enrique San Francisco), a bitter and hateful man who can't deal with women. In the midst of all this, David falls in love with Gloria (Barbara Lennie), a beautiful girl in his class, but he can't figure out a way to get her to notice him; in time, he's so desperate to get close to her that he starts getting his teeth cleaned by her mother (Alicia Sanchez), a neighborhood dentist who tends to share her problems with her patients. Mas Pena Que Gloria was the first feature from director Victor Garcia Leon.