HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER – A Review By Cynthia Flores

 

How To Be A Latin Lover is a great funny film.  It’s directed by Ken Marino, a well known comedic actor and comedic episodic television director for shows such as Life In Pieces and  Fresh Off The Boat.  So the direction and timing for the movie is solid.

The supporting cast is a dream come true for the star Eugenio Derbez, who stated in interviews that when working with the writers creating this film everyone they wrote a part for such as, "in this part we need a Salma Hayek type, in this part a Raquel Welsh type would be great, and in this part we really need a Rob Lowe type,” they got.  All the schedules lined up and everyone they asked said yes! So the casting for this film is awesome down to the smaller parts of side characters, such as Cindy (Kristen Bell) a crazy cat lover.

The story is a simple one, Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) had made a career of seducing rich older women. He marries a wealthy woman Peggy (Renee Taylor) more than twice his age. Twenty five years later we see he is a pampered kept husband who’s best friend is Rick (Rob Lowe) who is also an aging gigolo married to a much older woman Millicent (Linda Lavin). Maximo gets a surprise and his walking papers when Peggy dumps him for a younger man. Forced out of his mansion and high life and desperate for a place to stay, he must move in with his estranged, widowed sister, Sara (Salma Hayek) and her young son Hugo (Raphael Alejandro) in their tiny apartment.  So he goes from sleeping in a mansion to sleeping on a leaky air mattress in the young boys room.

Desperate to return to the lap of luxury, Maximo uses his nephew’s crush on a classmate at the private school he is a scholarship student at, to get to a new possible sugar momma, her grandmother, Celeste (Raquel Welch), a widowed billionaire.

The movie gets wacky as he bonds with his nephew teaching him how to win the young girl, and all the antics Maximo gets into shaping himself up and suffering the pitfalls of having a competing gigolo for a friend. In the end, he has to learn that being a latin lover means that loving money pales in comparison to the love of your family. But being rich doesn’t suck either.

The star of this film Eugenio Derbez, is an international star of foreign films in Spanish. He is slowly becoming known to us English speaking fans, by his ensemble parts in TV shows and small parts in films like The Book of Life and Jack and Jill.  His 2013 film that he wrote, produced, directed and starred in Instructions Not Included is the highest grossing Spanish comedy/drama film to date. In this new film, his first English speaking film with only a little Spanish, he only stars in it because when interviewed he said it's a big deal to cross over and he is still learning what is funny in English.

Funny is funny in any language, and I can tell you he doesn’t have much more to learn because his chemistry with everyone in this English the film is brilliant. I could watch him and Rob Lowe in 10 more movies together.

How To Be A Latin Lover could have been all kinds of wrong and offensive, instead it’s a wacky, fun time at the movies.

 

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How To Be A Latin Lover

Directed by Ken Marino    

Written By Chris Spain, Jon Zack

Rated PG-13

Running time 115 min

Comedy

Wide release is April 28th 2017

Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Rob Huebel, Rob Riggle, Renee Taylor, Linda Lavin, Raquel Welch   

         

 

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