The Perez Family (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Old and new loves are turned upside down through a complex case of mistaken identities in this romantic comedy-drama. In 1980, Juan Raul Perez (Alfred Molina) is released from a Cuban prison after spending 20 years behind bars and is allowed to join a mass emigration to the U.S. While Juan was incarcerated, his wife Carmela Perez (Anjelica Huston) escaped to Florida with their daughter, and Juan lives for the day when they can be reunited. En route to Miami, Juan meets Dottie Perez (Marisa Tomei), a fiery young woman who wants to leave behind her career as a prostitute. Juan and Carmela miss finding each other when his boat reaches Miami, and immigration personnel mistakenly assume that Juan and Dottie Perez are husband and wife; when they learn that families tend to find American sponsors much faster than individuals, they play along with the mistake, even convincing other Perezes to pose as their child and grandfather. Juan discovers that trying to renew an old relationship isn't easy as one tries to start a new life, especially since Carmela has attracted the attentions of police lieutenant John Pirelli (Chazz Palminteri). Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval contributed to the soundtrack.
Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Hallmark Entertainment


Marisa Tomei
as Dottie Perez
Alfred Molina
as Juan Raul Perez
Anjelica Huston
as Carmela Perez
Chazz Palminteri
as Officer Pirelli
Trini Alvarado
as Teresa Perez
Celia Cruz
as Luz Pat
Diego Wallraff
as Angel Diaz
Angela Lanza
as Flavia
Jose Philipe Padron
as Felipe Perez
Ranjit Chowdhry
as Ranjit, Indian Immigration Official
Ellen Cleghorne
as Officer Rhoades
Lázaro Pérez
as Armando `Papi' Perez
Bill Sage
as Steve Steverino
Vincent Gallo
as Orlando
Billy Hopkins
as Officer Aiden
Ruben Rabasa
as Father Martinez
Salvadore Levy
as Customer #2
Gustavo Laborie
as Cuban Official
Luis Torres
as Guajiro Drummer #1
Paloma Delaijrentil
as Transvestite on Boat
Oscar Gonzalez
as Old Guajiro
Florencio Santana
as Old Guajiro
Magaly Aguelo
as Angel's Secretary
Marc Macaulay
as Male Volunteer
Ángeles González Sinde
as Guajiro Drummer
Luis Raul
as News Photographer
Antoni Corone
as Security
Jorge Luis Ramone
as Cuban Prison Guard
Mira Nair
as Woman Buying Flowers
Ana Carballosa
as Woman of Many Faces
Norman Max Maxwell
as Gate Guard
Bernard Fouquet
as Customer
José Felipe Padron
as Felipe Perez
Salvador Levy
as Customer
Melissa Ramone
as Young Carmela
Sandor Juan
as Vendor
Mel Gorham
as Vilma/Raquel
Luis E. Torres Meneses
as Guajiro Drummer
Ángel González
as Guajiro Drummer
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Critic Reviews for The Perez Family

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (6)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

Mira Nair's consistent exploration of the search for home is admirable, but her movie is burdened by an unconvincing ensemble that's unable to elevate the serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants into a poignant tale.

Full Review… | October 8, 2006
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Perez Family


A ridiculous comedy, which seems to have a much worthy cast than this film gives it credit; Chaz Palminteri, Angelica Houston, Marissa Tomei and Vincent Gallo all of whom have appeared in much better quality films. The idea as a film is quite comical I guess, collecting family members to create a fiamily, but it was simply a film with a little bit of potential that went horribly wrong.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


I'm torn about this movie. On the one hand I want to say its a good movie and very interesting. It brings up a lot of things I never really thought about... and makes you wonder what happens to families that immigrate to the US and become displaced or separated from each other and just how our government 'handles' those people and what freedom really means in this context.... and then I realize none of the main characters are played by actual Cubans or even Hispanics.... yeah not sure how I feel about that. Don't get me wrong... I love Angelica Houston and Marisa Tomei, but this movie just comes off feeling disingenuous.

Kate Caldwell
Kate Caldwell

Marisa was a little over-the-top, but I loved her performance anyway. She was sexy, sultry, primal, everything her character was supposed to be. Alfred Molina and his honest and open face, and his soulful and sexy dark eyes...he was perfection. This movie was highly enjoyable, and left me in need of a cold shower!

Christine S
Christine S

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