Cinescape Magazine Movie Review
How to be a Latin Lover
|How have I never heard of this guy before? He's got a freakin star!|
"My Papa always said, you get what you work for."When watching Hollywood movies for so long, one can sometimes forget about how many of our most popular actors come from other countries. Is it possible that their on-screen accents are just that good? But that view is of the many white European, Australian, and even South African, actors that we have over here in the States. However, what about the foreign actors who have a less "pasty" appearance and never seem to lose their native accents when starring in American cinema? They have contributed just as much to the art by introducing the average joe to different cultures and/or changing up our basic views of how a standard actor looks and sounds. Benicio del Toro (Snatch), Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Salma Hayek (Frida), and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond), are among my favorite foreign accent heavy actors. One that has been around for some time and has done a ton of work in his native Mexico, has caught my eye as well.
That intro was my odd little way of introducing the star of How to be a Latin Lover, Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included). Now the film itself is not that much to write home about. Despite that, Derbez exploits his talents from start to finish. Directed by Ken Marino (that guy who played with Jane Lynch's hot dog in Role Models), Latin Lover is a showcase for Derbez as he wins the hearts of the audience and his costars. He's got a face and personality that nobody could hate. The story is the near cliche about the selfish guy who loses everything, and only realizes by the end that everything means so much more than what he had. There are plenty of humbling moments for Derbez's character, but what I like about this movie is that he doesn't change his entire persona to make everyone happy. He stays true to himself while finding extra room in his heart for family. We all know how the story's gonna end up, yet it's fun to go through all of Derbez's motions anyway.
The large cast of known actors plays better than predicted. At first glance, you'd think that all of these stars were here to make up for any shortcomings of the film. Instead every single part is well done and there's never the presentation of over-the-top acting that we might usually see from certain players. Salma Hayek commands respect as Derbez's disapproving sister and Mother to his little nephew played by Raphael Alejandro (Once Upon a Time). She has plenty of moments where she slaps Derbez silly and has a good time doing it. Rob Lowe (Wayne's World), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), Rob Riggle (Step Brothers), Rob Huebel (The League), (how many freakin Robs are there?), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Linda Lavin (Alice), Raquel Welch (Legally Blonde), and Michael Cera (Superbad), have their interactions with Derbez and keep things funny. They're all apart of a certain charm that covers How to be a Latin Lover in a warm blanket, that distracts from some of its lackluster plot points.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of How to be a Latin Lover
The Good- The first ten minutes are hilarious as we're introduced to such a lazy prick, brother and sister moments, Lowe's sex duties, Maximo goes for a swim, teaching Hugo the trade, "pull my finger", and sleeping in the dollhouse.
The Bad- There are some missed opportunities that could've been great to explore instead of the safe events that we get here.
The Ugly- During the spa treatment scene, was Derbez getting that area waxed, bleached, or laser shot? You know what, forget that I asked.
How to be a Latin Lover plays mostly like a two hour sitcom episode. It's funny, charming, and could've be much better with some adventurous writing. Regardless, Eugenio Derbez has caught my attention and I want to see more of him in the near future. Or I could just learn Spanish?
Rating- 6 out of 10
How to Be a Latin Lover (2017)
Finding himself dumped after 25 years of marriage, a man who made a career of seducing rich older women must move in with his estranged sister, where he begins to learn the value of family.
Director: Ken Marino
Writers: Chris Spain, Jon Zack
Stars: Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe
PG-13 | 1h 55min | Comedy | 28 April 2017 (USA)
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