REVIEW: Successful Latin film brings spice to American market

Courtesy photo
 Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

By Alma Bustamante

Ranger Reporter


Nobody is completely ready for parenthood, right?

In the movie, Instructions not Included, Valentin Bravo goes from being a playboy in Acapulco to a devoted father after a fling from the past leaves a baby, Maggie, on his doorstep. Maggie’s mother drops her off, then leaves to pay the cab fee and doesn’t return.

Not knowing what to do and not wanting to take the commitment a child comes with, Valentin decides to look for Julie, Maggie’s mother, in Los Angeles. During the process he becomes a stuntman, and an incredible relationship evolves with his now 7-year-old daughter.

A much anticipated movie by many Latinos in the Unites States, Instructions Not Included has a well-thought-out balance of comedy and drama the whole family will enjoy. Eugenio Derbez, director, co-writer and co-producer, also stars in the film that is breaking records for being the top Spanish-language movie in the United States.

The film has made $38.6 million so far, and Mexican Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth now is in second place with $37.6 million. Derbez is a well-known comedian in Mexico with multiple shows since the 1990s.

I definitely rate this film with 5 stars. It had me laughing and then crying and sometimes both at the same time. There are parts of the movie that were meant to be funny and aren’t, but most of them grabbed my attention pretty easily.

Some of the heart-touching scenes are when Maggie is going to go live with her mom but she doesn’t want to go. Instead, she wants to stay with her dad, and they both are crying.

Thinking from a Latino perspective, I am proud of my compatriot Derbez for launching a movie with Spanish as its primary language to the American market and making it a success.

Thinking from a parental perspective, I relate to the relationship Valentin has with Maggie because I am very close to my almost 2-year-old daughter myself.

This movie opened in theaters at the end of 2013, and now you can find it available to download online and on DVD at almost any movie store.

I completely understand the humor in the movie, because that is what we are used to seeing with all of Derbez’s shows. There are surprising twists and turns, especially in the last scene. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen, because every scene has something special in it.

The culmination of the story is melancholic and totally unexpected. Unquestionably, I recommend this film to everyone, because I know they will enjoy it.

I hope the success this film has had brings more Latinos to the American market.

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