Entertainment

These Iconic Latino-Led Romantic Comedies Continue To Give Us All The Feels

Hollywood has a huge debt to Latino actors: for years, they have been stereotyped in roles that are either criminal or secondary in nature. However, this glass ceiling is slowly but surely being broken. One of the most profitable (and star-making!) genres is the ever-present romantic comedy.

To get ready for Valentine’s Day, here are 21 romantic comedies led by Latino actors or Latino characters. We have included both Hollywood movies and films coming out of Latin American entertainment industries. Representations matters!

“Spanglish”

Starring: Paz Vega and Adam Sandler

Year released: 2004

Credit: 0_wn7S0zpmLt9Oykgo. Digital image. Decentralize Today.

OK, this is a borderline example because it stars a Spanish actress who plays a Mexican maid who falls for her boss, a world-renowned chef. It is a bittersweet comedy about language and human connection.

“Fools Rush In”

Starring: Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry

Year released: 1997

Credit: film-fridays-fools-rush-in-1997-Fools-Rush-In-1997-film-images-441bbec6-075e-49b6-ae20-b3d883bd7f3. Digital image. Lisa Says Gah.

A one-night-stand leads to an unplanned pregnancy which leads to a wedding. Of course, that leads to intercultural hilarity between an Anglo dude and a Latino family. A good fish-out-of-water experience so many people can relate to.

“Breaking Up”

Starring: Salma Hayek and Russell Crowe

Year released: 1997

Credit: Breaking Up. Green Light Productions.

We just can’t get enough Salmita. A movie about how hard it is to actually put an end to a romantic entanglement. Hayek and Crowe shine as the main couple. Ideal to watch if you just can’t shake off your ex.

“The Wedding Planner”

Starring: Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey

Year released: 2001

Credit: The Wedding PlannerColumbia Pictures Corporation

J.Lo is one of the absolute queens of the genre. In this movie, she plays a dynamic planner who thinks she found love at first sight. Unfortunately, the man she is falling for is destined to be married and her feelings need to be put in check fast.

“Monster in Law”

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vart, and Jane Fonda

Year released: 2005

Credit: D Monster in LawNew Line Cinema.

One of the biggest issues when it comes to intercultural relationships are… suegras. Or so this movie makes us believe. Jane Fonda is the terrible in-law who le hace la vida de cuadritos to our beautiful princess.

“Shall We Dance?”

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon

Year released: 2004

Credit: Shall We Dance? Miramax.

This remake of a Japanese international hit is not what you expect. It is not a mature-dude-meets-young-ethnic-girl kind of deal, but an ode to marital love and friendship. The kind of stuff that would be great to watch with your parents.

“Everybody Loves Somebody”

Starring: Karla Souza, Jose Maria Yazpik

Year released: 2017

Credit: Everybody Loves SomebodyDraco Films.

This bilingual film is commonplace but delicious. A Mexican doctor who lives in the US is suddenly torn between her Mexican ex and a new gringo flame. Totally worth a watch.

“Hitch”

Starring: Eva Mendes and Will Smith

Year released: 2005

Credit: Hitch. Columbia Pictures Corporation

Will Smith plays a hook-up expert coach who just can’t seem to woo a reporter played by the super sexy Eva Mendes. A comedy of errors that showcases the power and intelligence of Latino women.

“You’re Killing Me Susana”

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal and Veronica Echegui

Year released: 2016

Credit: You Are Killing Me SusanaLa Banda Films.

Heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal plays an actor who is left by his wife. Will be able to get the love of his life back? Gael has really matured as a thespian and this movie truly shows it. Hilarity and loss ensue.

“A Little Bit of Heaven”

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal and Kate Hudson

Year released: 2011

Credit: A Little Bit of Heaven. Davis Entertainment.

Sad, sad, sad…. a businesswoman played by Kate Hudson (post her breakthrough role in Almost Famous) has a carefree romantic life… until she gets colon cancer… and she falls for her doctor. Ouch.

“Letters to Juliet”

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal and Amanda Seyfried

Year released: 2010

Credit: Letters to JulietSummit Entertainment.

A young woman, who happens to be engaged, is not happy with settling with a life that is less than romantic. She realizes that her beau, a chef played by Gael, is actually more focused on his job than on her. Un idiota. 

“Don’t Blame the Kid!”

Starring: Karla Souza

Year released: 2016

Credit: Don’t Blame the Kid! Adicta Films.

This surprise Mexican hit stars Karla Souza, who plays a posh girl who gets pregnant. The father? A younger, working-class dude. Director Gustavo Loza not only makes us laugh but also makes poignant social commentary on class and race relations in contemporary Mexico.

“From Prada to Nada”

Starring: Camilla Belle and Alexa Vega

Year released: 2011

Credit: From Prada to Nada. Gilbert Films.

A funny rags-to-riches story about two sisters who live in Beverly Hills until their papito dies suddenly. The sibling move to East Los Angeles, where they get in touch with their roots and realize that love is much more than social status.

“Bad Moms”

Starring: Jay Hernandez and Mila Kunis

Year released: 2016

Credit: From Prada to Nada. STX Entertainment.

This hilarious comedy about the life of moms pushes a very important agenda but it also includes some steamy romance scenes between Mila Kunis and Latino galanazo Jay Hernandez. He has matured really well. You can watch it back to back with Bad Moms 2.

“Crazy/Beautiful”

Starring: Jay Hernandez and Kirsten Dunst

Year released: 2001

Credit: Crazy/BeautifulTouchstone Pictures.

This is not a romantic comedy per se, but it is romantic as hell. Two high school students fall for each other: one is a white rich girl, the other a Latino nerdy kid. As you can imagine, tragedy ensues perfect for a more serious Valentine’s Day.

“Behaving Badly”

Starring: Selena Gomez and Nat Wolff

Year released: 2014

Credit: Behaving BadlyMad Chance.

A perfect example of passionate teenage love. A young man falls for the girl of his dreams (Selena Gomez, obviously!) but gets involved with some shady individuals in the process. Selena is truly magnetic.

“How to Be a Latin Lover”

Starring: Salma Hayek and Eugenio Derbez

Year released: 2017

Credit: How to Be a Latin Lover. Pantelion Films.

No, Derbez and Hayek are not an item, but brother and sister. Derbez plays a gigolo who is dumped by his rich flame and has to crash at her sister’s place. Will she find true love? Will he?

“Our Family Wedding”

Starring: America Ferrara and Lance Gross

Year released: 2010

Credit: Our Family Wedding. Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Let’s face it: families can be either big help or a terrible obstacle come wedding time. America Ferrara is sweet and amazing in this multicultural story about love and marriage.

“How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer”

Starring: Elizabeth Peña, Lucy Gallardo and America Ferrara

Year released: 2005

Credit: How the Garcia Girls Spent Their SummerMaya Releasing.

Not only an ode to romantic and sexual love, but also to the enduring bonds between grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Three generations of Mexican-American women who experience romantic episodes during the course of the summer. A tear-jerker for sure.

“Mosquita y Mari”

Starring: Fennesa Pineda and Venecia Troncoso

Year released: 2012

Credit: Mosquita y Mari. Indion Entertainment

An indie American film that tells the story of two Mexican-American teenage girls whose deep friendship develops into a more complex romantic bond. One of the few queer films coming out of indie Latino cinema in the U.S.

“Just the Ticket”

Starring: Andy Garcia and Andie MacDowell

Year released: 1998

Credit: Just the TicketMGM.

An oldie but goodie. This underrated romantic comedy stars Cuban-American star Andy Garcia as a ticket scalper who wants to reignite the fire in his relationship. Not the best movie ever, but good for a Valentine’s Day movie marathon.


READ: Hollywood Does Latin America: 21 Movies Shot South Of The Border

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Star Of Netflix’s New ‘Selena’ Series Says She Felt The Pressure Of Playing Her Idol

Entertainment

Star Of Netflix’s New ‘Selena’ Series Says She Felt The Pressure Of Playing Her Idol

Justa little a while ago last year, Netflix announced that it hadofficially selected a Latina to keep the legacy of Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla, alive. For its highly anticipated show “Selena: The Series,” the big-time streaming platform has tapped Christian Serratos, AKA Rosita Espinosa of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” series.

In a recent interview with People magazine, Serratos revealed that she was anxious about stepping into her role as Selena.

“I’ve been listening to her since I was way below single digits,” Serratos told People in the recent interview. “’Baila Esta Kumbia’ (the second single released on Quintanilla’s 1990 ‘Ven Conmigo’ album), that was my song as a baby. Then it became my karaoke song as a teenager. I’ve always looked up to and really admired her, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to play her.

“It was really intimidating to audition and to play her, but I felt prepared in life to accomplish what I think we did on this show,” Serratos explained. “I gave it everything I could.”

Twenty-four years after her tragic death Selena is, once again, being brought back to life on the screen.

Little information has been released by Netflix about the series, but Serratos casting will undoubtedly launch quite a bit of chatter.

christianserratos/ Instagram

The series, which was created with the participation of the Quintanilla family and announced by Netflix last December, has already garnered quite a bit of anticipation online. Back in 1997, the casting process for the singer had the Latino community astir for months until it was finally revealed that then-dancer, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (still known as a triple threat for her moves, voice and acting chops) had earned the role. The Boricua’s casting caused quite the controversy primarily because she was not Mexican. This time around, Netflix kept the controversy in mind while conducting casting. In a recent interview with NBC News, Moisés Zamora– who is the head writer and one of the executive producers for the show– explained how crucial it was for him to ensure Mexican- identity was strongly included in the show.

“I associated her with my family and being Mexican in America,” he told the outlet at the time while highlighting how the younger singer was shaped by her identity of being a woman of Mexican heritage who also grew up in Corpus Christi while speaking English.

For the latest portrayal of Selena, the executive producer was involved in the casting of Serratos, a Latina of both Mexican and Italian descent.

Serratos knows all about breathing life into deceased characters.

AMC

For four seasons she has raged against the undead in “The Walk Dead” and in her earlier career played Angela Webber, friend to Bella Swan lover of vampires, in Twilight.

According to outlets, it’s unclear how the series will tackle Quintanilla’s vocals.

Back when Lopez took her turn as the singer, she was made to lip-sync to Quintanilla’s vocals. We’re pretty sure that if Netflix doesn’t decide to do the same, they’ll be in good hands because Serratos voice is banging. She even sings “Baila Esta Cumbia” in this compilation!

So far fans of Selena are on board with the news.

While buzz online hasn’t quite ramped up, we’re pretty sure once news of the casting catches on Latina Twitter will be doing the washing machine for days.

And it appears Serratos has the Selena Fan Club seal of approval.

https://twitter.com/foxymnj/status/1163907305110458368

And it’s no wonder why! Serratos cuts a pretty uncanny resemblance to the Tejano beauty.

Of course, while most of the reactions to Serratos casting have been positive the TWD club is a bit worried.

Okay TBH it feels like a worthy sacrifice.

Like literally people are bummed.

Pero… like I said! Serratos as Selena will totally be worth it.

(Jeeze… wonder if she’ll die by zombie attack?)

But there is a silver lining to the upset.

If fans of “The Walking Dead” are this bummed over possibly losing Serratos, that means she must be pretty damn good at taking on great roles. So here’s to Serratos and her new role! Hopefully, for TWD fans she’ll be able to juggle both… if not bidi bidi bom bom.

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We Finally Know What Jennifer Lopez Thinks About ‘Selena: the Series’ on Netflix

Entertainment

We Finally Know What Jennifer Lopez Thinks About ‘Selena: the Series’ on Netflix

Credit: selenanetflix/Instagram; Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

Netflix’s new show, “Selena: The Series” is set to premiere this Friday and everyone who was a fan of the incomparable Selena Quintanilla is beside themselves with excitement.

We don’t know a ton about the upcoming series yet, just the little information that Netflix has released about the general plot and cast. Per Netflix, the series will focus on Selena as she “comes of age and realizes her dreams”.

It will also focus on her family and, of course, her music. According to reports, we also know that the Quintanilla family is involved in the series. Relative unknown Christian Serratos will be playing La Reina herself.

But what we’ve all been dying to know since the new series was announced in 2018 is: What does JLo think?

Lopez famously played Selena to great critical acclaim in 1997. Well, folks, we finally have an answer! Lopez appeared on the series’ official Instagram account to give the upcoming series her full support.

In a video posted to the account, Lopez talks about the new series. “Guys, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this new Selena series on Netflix,” Lopez says, laughing a bit because yes we all know and we literally can’t wait. “Playing Selena was kind of a landmark moment in my career. And I was so excited when I saw the trailer and heard about it.”

She also added that she thinks the new show will introduce tons of new fans to Selena’s story and her music.

“It’s a great way for this generation to get to know Selena,” Lopez continued on the Instagram video. “I love Selena. She’s such a big part of my life and my career. And I can’t wait to see it!”

Jennifer Lopez famously starred in the original movie about the Queen of Tejano music in 1997. At the time of its release, the movie was a critical and commercial hit. It’s no wonder that, in the time of spin-offs and reboots, Netflix decided to cash in on the devotion of Quintanilla’s built-in audience.

Christian Serratos is definitely feeling the pressure when it comes to portraying Selena after Lopez’s pivotal 1997 performance.

Addressing the pressure of tackling her own version of Selena Quintanilla after Jennifer Lopez’s version has become so popular over the years, Serratos said she’s trying not to let the pressure get to her.

“Sometimes I do have to remind myself that I can’t please everybody because I’m human,” she said in an interview with The Big Ticket. “But the thing I tried to do first and foremost was to honestly portray her spirit because I think that’s what made her so lovely and so iconic.”

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