PUERTO RICANS IN PARIS
By Liz Casanova
Starring Luis Guzman, Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez, Alice Taglioni and Edgar Garcia
Written by Ian Edelman and Neel Shah
Directed by Ian Edelman
Running time 1h 22min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating Dollar
Summer is the time the buddy films emerge from winter hibernation. Puerto Ricans in Paris is awake and has left the cave. The hilarious Luis Guzman (Boogie Nights) plays Luis and Edgar Garcia (How to Make it in America) is Eddie, two New York City detectives who specialize in the counterfeit designer industry. They are offered the opportunity to go to Paris to help a top designer catch the thief who stole her latest designer bag, before it becomes a popular item in flea markets. Luis and Eddie can't resist the large amounts of money offered if they are successful (and it's also a matter of pride).
Paris is a revelation for the duo. They are definitely fish out of water. Eddie is the married man who tries to behave himself, but the ladies love his natural charm and his bald head. Luis is another story. He tries way too hard and is shot down by all the beautiful Parisian women. Between checking out the local hot spots and bickering like siblings, the two find some time to eliminate their suspects one by one.
I can't believe I'm going to say this about a movie produced by Pitbull, but Puerto Ricans in Paris is actually tres funny. The film would not work without the chemistry and dynamic Guzman and Garcia emanate on screen. Guzman has always been versatile, but his comedy is balls out, meaning he has no hesitancy about taking comedic risks. He's all in and the audience is there with him.
Garcia is also a nice foil. His calm demeanor and intelligence allows Guzman's character to be over the top. The supporting cast is fun. Rosie Perez is Gloria, Eddie's wife, and plays the underappreciated Latina very well. Rosario Dawson is Vanessa, Luis' girlfriend. The two beauties have little screen time but it adds to the hilarity of the rest of the film.
It's nice to see some familiar faces playing some of the smaller roles, especially because the comedic contributions are like little gifts. You may recognize Ravi Patel (Meet the Patels) and the extremely underrated Miriam Shor (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). There is also the beautiful Alice Taglioni who plays the designer Colette. She ends up being like that totally gorgeous cheerleader in high school who was also disturbingly funny (so you couldn't really hate her).
Is the plot predictable? Probably. It's not a film that will end up in the top ten of the year. But comedy is harder than it looks. And there is not a scene that won't make you at least giggle. It's an entertaining one to see on a hot summer day.