"Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included) and Academy Award nominee Salma Hayek (Best Actress, Frida, 2002) lead an all-star cast in How to Be a Latin Lover. The film features a standout ensemble cast, including Rob Lowe (“Parks and Recreation”), Kristen Bell (Frozen), Raquel Welch (Legally Blonde), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Raphael Alejandro (“Once Upon a Time”). When aging Latin lover Maximo (Derbez) is suddenly dumped by the older woman he married for money, he moves in with his estranged sister Sara (Hayek) and her 10-year-old son, Hugo (Alejandro). Determined to return to the lap of luxury, Maximo uses Hugo to meet a rich widow—and learns that love and trust must be earned." That is the official description for How to Be a Latin Lover, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.
With nothing but the title and trailer as a guide, you might think this is a film about the gigolo lifestyle, and it does have a PG-13 rating because of some crude humor and sexual references, but it's actually a comedy (or at least it's supposed to be). I didn't find it all that funny. Most of the comedic scenes were of the slapstick variety, which is fine if you enjoy that, but even then they felt clumsy and sort of improvised. Instead, How to Be a Latin Lover actually comes off as a pretty decent story about family.
Eugenio Derbez plays the part of a washed up gigolo named Maximo, who after 25 years is kicked out by his much older wife with nothing but the clothes on this back. He then moves in with his estranged sister Sara and her son Hugo. The husband/father is deceased and Maximo in his own self-serving way becomes a father-figure to Hugo. Of course, because of his usual selfishness, he once again messes up his familial relationships, but in the end he comes through and the story has a happy ending.
The Blu-ray edition of the film is presented as a MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The picture provides vibrant colors and excellent detail in most scenes, even going so far as to use very little soft focus on the older actors, which is a refreshing change from the typical Hollywood digital enhancements. For audio, we get a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that makes good use of the surround channels, such as during the more active scenes like the car accidents and the birthday party. Dialogue is also clean and clear throughout.
For bonus features, the film includes the following:
- Audio Commentary with Director Ken Marino, Producer Ben Odell and Editor John Daigle
- Show Me Your Sexy! Learning to Be a Latin Lover - a 17-minute featurette with some clips from the film and some interviews.
- A Little Help From My Friends - a behind-the-scenes look at how director Ken Marino called in some favors to get the supporting cast on-board.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
So while I didn't find How to Be a Latin Lover all that funny, I did find it to be a pretty decent story about family relationships. It's certainly not a blockbuster by any means, but it might be worth a look.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vUqqsB
* Website: lionsgate.com