Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 1
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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 829
A Mexican troubadour struggling to make a living in San Francisco's mission district travels back across the border to visit his dying mother in filmmaker Mark Becker's unflinching portrait of illegal immigrant Carmelo Sánchez. By day Sánchez washes cars, and by night he moves from restaurant to restaurant playing romantic ballads for tips. But Sánchez isn't alone in America, his best friend Arturo is always by his side. When Sanchez's mother falls ill and he returns to Mexico to be by her side,
Nov 1, 2006 Wide
Apr 3, 2007
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... a fine example of how the new technologies enable filmmakers to tell stories hard to capture before.
There's nothing extraordinary about mariachi singer Carmelo Muńiz Sánchez, and nothing extraordinary about Mark Becker's documentary profile Romántico. At times, that seems to be the point.
Romántico would be nothing if it were just a hard-luck story. The movie is something else: the revelation of a way of life, of a whole area of human experience going on right under our noses -- or standing over our restaurant tables.
Romántico is a quiet, admirable slice-of-life documentary, giving us insight into the human condition without claiming universal knowledge of larger questions involving immigration or family responsibility.
The movie's interests tend more toward the personal than the political. Cultural differences notwithstanding, Sánchez is the archetype of the overachieving dad, sacrificing his present to provide for his family's future.
If this terrific documentary doesn't adjust your idea of what it means to have a hard life and a good attitude, you haven't been paying attention.
It is like a duet in which both men work together to achieve a kind of cinematic harmony, and out of it comes a beautiful recording of the universal struggle that is life.
A low-key personal portrait that helps you understand an illegal immigrant's desperate psychology. But mostly, it fills you with an aching empathy for this profoundly decent man, who numbly (even heroically) soldiers on.
This is a simple yet stunning movie, one that proves that romance can take many different forms.
The filmmaker has delivered such an insightful look into one man's experience of emigration and homecoming.
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