Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (27)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (16)
OK, so it will never be mistaken for vintage Pedro Almodovar or Bigas Luna, but the feel-good satire How to Be a Latin Lover nevertheless gives you less cause to be a hater than you might have expected.
Derbez brings warmth and intermittent goofy humor to this too-broad and uneven comedy. The best moments are between him and co-stars Salma Hayek and young Raphael Alejandro, who both have an easy chemistry with Derbez.
Surprisingly deft in mixing Mr. Derbez's broad but accomplished style with more ostensibly hip-absurdist Anglo modes of humor.
Its humor is broad, but most of the jokes work for the intended audience - with a few even breaking through to more resistant viewers.
How to Be a Latin Lover doesn't know how to be a comedy-at least not a 21st century one that can get away with dopey double entendres while promoting the importance of family ties over money.
How To Be A Latin Lover is basically an Adam Sandler movie without the Happy Madison shingle.
By no means will this become a cult comedy classic, but it's an amusing diversion that's much better than it should be.
The result is stupid, self-conscious, but stupid after all. [Full review in Spanish]
It will be enjoyable to Eugenio Derbez fans but puts a rope around the Mexican comedian, about if he will dare once and for all to empty his talent into something more risky. [Full review in Spanish]
A horrible mess full of clichés and jokes that feel worn, despite the efforts of Eugenio Derbez to make them work. [Full review in Spanish]
A film that aims to offer escapism and reaffirmation to Latinos in the United States, but instead reinforces harmful stereotypes. [Full review in Spanish]
How to Be a Latin Lover reads like a watered-down version of something frequent Marino collaborator David Wain might have done. Very watered-down. Like five parts Wain to fifteen parts water. Which is better than I expected, if less than I wanted.
You know, I started thinking of this as I was watching the movie, but Eugenio Derbez reminds me of a male version of Ellen DeGeneres. This may seem odd to a lot of people seeing as, outside of both being humans and North Americans, they really don't have anything in common. What I mean by that is that, to me, Ellen DeGeneres is an incredibly likable, but not hilariously funny person. I find her more likable than she is funny. That's not to say that she can't make me laugh, because she has, but she's the type of person that your mother would find funnier than you would. Not that that's meant as an insult or anything, but that's just the demographic her humor seems to appeal to. Her humor, for the most part, is very safe. Which, again, is not an insult, since there should be something for everybody out there. Safe humor, however, doesn't appeal to me. This is what I mean when I compare Derbez and DeGeneres. Eugenio Derbez is more likable than he is funny and, like Ellen, I think he can get away with a lot of jokes that may be on the lame side because of his likability. But, and this bears repeating, the man can make me laugh, it's just that I think it might take a little bit more effort for him than others I find more naturally funny, like Hannibal Buress or Danny McBride. With that said, I wasn't really expecting much from this movie. Reason I picked it was rather simple. I just wanted something light to watch. These are moods we all go through. Sometimes you just wanna watch something that;s low-stakes. That's why I followed up Black Panther with Sydney White when I had originally planned on watching Infinity War. After Black Panther, I just wanted to decompress. And my idea of decompressing is not watching a movie in the MCU where the stakes have never been higher, where the Avengers either defeat Thanos or he destroys the universe. That's not exactly low-stakes, if you ask me. Though, at least in this case, I think I used this movie more to watch the bad taste that Hell and Back left in my mouth. Goddamn, that movie was atrocious. This movie is infinitely better than the aforementioned piece of crap. Though it's the kind of movie where you have to go in expecting it to be exactly what it is. It's a shameless and unabashed crowd-pleaser. I don't think anyone would ever expect a movie called 'How To Be A Latin Lover' to be high art worthy of comparison to the classics like the Godfather and Taxi Driver. But, in my opinion, I feel that this movie is much better 'enjoyed' if you know what you're getting. I put enjoyed in quotation marks because, to be fair, I don't really think I'd say that this was a good movie. What I can say is that it was a very pleasant and amiable experience. I think sometimes people confuse the two. I probably have been guilty of that one time or another. I'm not gonna tell people what they can or can't enjoy, but this is the type of movie where you really have to inspect deep down. It can't all be taken at face value. Because, if I did, I'd be saying that this was good. The thing about this movie is that it is put together in a way where it will be pleasing to the masses. And, hey, I have no problem with that. As I said in my Hell and Back review, variety is the spice of life. But, at the same time, there's also the fact that this movie's script is very basic and it relies almost entirely on Derbez's charm to carry it through. And, for the most part, it works. Even when Maximo, Derbez's character, is at his most asshole-ish, Derbez finds a way to make it an endearing character trait as opposed to making you hate his character for being such a gold-digging asshole that, inevitably, is gonna hurt his nephew and break his dreams once he finds out that Maximo was only using him to score another sugar mama. I do think that, while the concept isn't exactly amazing, there's far more potential for comedy with this concept than what they do end up doing. Maximo is used to an incredibly luxurious lifestyle where he has someone to do everything for him, even swipe his tablet. So you know the type of humor that they're gonna go for once his sugar mama (who's around 80 years old) has an affair with someone younger (in this case Michael Cera and, really, I don't know if that's an upgrade or a downgrade). He moves him with his sister, whom he estranged himself from after marrying getting together with his sugar mama, who lives in a modest apartment with her young son. Maximo expects the highest quality meals, he expects his sister to clean up after him, he doesn't remember Hugo's name and, shock of all shocks, he has to do something he's never had to do before in his life...get a job. It is predictable humor at best and, really, maybe even lazy at worst. With that said, the movie is sporadically entertaining. Obviously it's not consistent, but it's decent enough to get an average rating. But I do think that the movie butters its bread more on the bond that develops between Maximo and Hugo. I'll be honest, it wasn't as nauseating as I would have expected. It's certainly better and less melodramatic and manipulative that Derbez's last major movie foray into the American film market with Instructions Not Included. And, at the same time, the character of Hugo is not annoyingly precocious. I mean, they do try to make him into an adorable little muppet but, again, for some reason, it's executed better here than in other movies. Let's just say that I didn't wanna beat myself with a sledgehammer as a result of the bond that is built between Hugo and Maximo. It's still very much a fabricated bond, though Eugenio seems like someone who would work well with kids, but it's not as bad a nauseating bond as other flicks of this kind. The acting is...fine. I mean there's no one here that delivers anything more than an acceptable performance, but it gets the job done. Rob Riggle and Rob Huebel provide the comedic relief and they're, to me, the highlights of the entire movie. I don't know what else to say, I'm running out of shit. It's a movie that goes exactly where you think it's gonna go. You're not gonna be in for a transcendent experience. But Eugenio Derbez is likable enough and he manages to carry the movie for the most part. The movie isn't exactly the most tightly scripted and structured, but it's a decent enough little movie. It's not good, it falls quite short of that, but it is a pleasant and harmless experience. This is something you can watch with your sweet little abuelita. Wouldn't recommend it, but you could do far worse. Like Hell and Back. Yea, fuck that movie.
How to Be a Latin Lover is just like all those movies that have previously failed in the box office. Not worth watching and looking forward by its visuals this movie gives us. I think if there's numerous attempts for a film to end up this soggy and, for some weird reason, clichéd. If you literally want to watch this, unfortunately for you, you won't get much of the fun found in this film.
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