Entertainment

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

Letters to Juliet / Summit Entertainment.

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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Netflix Is Bringing Latinidad To The Fantasy Realm And LOTR Fans Gear Up

Entertainment

Netflix Is Bringing Latinidad To The Fantasy Realm And LOTR Fans Gear Up

Streaming services like Netflix have become our go-to place for fresh media. So, whenever we hear of a new project coming from the streaming service, we’re all in. Last November, Netflix announced a huge 6 project animated deal that will bring even more cartoon goodness to our screens. One, in particular, has us especially excited because it comes from animator and director Jorge Gutierrez. You might remember him from Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” and the gorgeously animated “The Book of Life.”

Now, we’re seeing the first looks of Gutierrez’s new Netflix project, “Maya and the Three.”

Twitter / @mexopolis

Described as a Mesoamerican fantasy epic, the director sat down with VARIETY to share the origins of the project and the journey to get it made. Gutierrez was approached by Netflix with an alluring challenge: share his dream project with executives; the one he didn’t believe anyone would ever allow him to make. It only took him one pitch to win the streaming giant over and “Maya” was greenlit for production.

“So I sat down on Jan. 25th of [2018] and that was the first time I ever pitched ‘Maya,’” he shared with VARIETY. “No art, no writing, just an idea. And here I am 11 months later, knee-deep in production.”

It was Gutierrez’s goal to portray a “bad-ass female Mesoamerican hero” in a fantasy world of his own creation.

Twitter / @zette16

“I started seeing a lot of things I didn’t like as far as not having any lead females, especially in Mesoamerican mythology,” he explained. “So I said I want to have a hero who is a half-god half-human warrior princess.”

In the Netflix series, a demigod warrior princess named Maya embarks on a quest to recruit three legendary fighters. With their help, she hopes to save the worlds of god and man from destruction. The intention was to show Maya as a strong female lead and, to do so, Gutierrez pulled from his real-life heroes. The director credits his sister, mother and his wife, Sandra Equihua for inspiring the mythical heroine. Equihua is also a talented animator and acts as a character designer for the female characters in her husband’s work.

With his female lead in place, Gutierrez focused on the mystical world that “Maya” would be set in.

Twitter / @mexopolis

The setting for the Netflix limited series has been growing in Gutierrez’s mind since he was a boy growing up in Mexico City. He would wander the halls of the Museum of Natural History and makeup stories about what he saw. These stories would later help to mold the setting. Even now, the director has fun teasing his Twitter followers with hints about what the new series could look like. However, it’s the architecture from his boyhood explorations, Gutierrez’s fondness for skulls and the pantheon of Mesoamerican gods that have helped to create Maya’s world.

Due to the mystical quest and the fantasy setting of “Maya and the Three,” Gutierrez has taken to calling the series the Mexican “Lord of the Rings.” Still, it’s a fantasy first and foremost. The director wants everyone to understand that “Maya” is inspired by Mesoamerican culture but is not meant to be an accurate representation.

“I tell everybody that while it’s inspired by Mesoamerica, this will be as accurate (to that world) as ‘Rocky’ was to boxing,” Gutierrez shared with VARIETY. “It’s all fantasy and I’m having a blast playing with the history.”

The series will feature a number of talented Latinx writers, producers and voice actors to bring Maya to life.

Instagram / @thraxisjr

Silvia Olivas from “Elena of Avalor” is acting as a co-writer and co-producer for “Maya and the Three.” From Disney’s “Moana,” Jeff Ranjo is the head of story. Paul Sullivan, who worked with Gutierrez on “The Book of Life,” is the production designer.

Despite these important hires, animators were in short supply so the producer had to get creative.

“Especially in L.A., we are all fighting for basically the same people, so now we’re looking outside. Before we announced Maya, I would go online and look for artists who were already inspired by Mesoamerica and say to them ‘You already love this stuff, we love it too! Come to our team.’”

Gutierrez used Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr to find animators that could do justice to the project. This modern-day recruiting system allowed Gutierrez and his team to find fresh artists with untapped talent to animate “Maya.” The results promise to be unique and beautiful.

The series is still a long ways away; it won’t debut on Netflix until its 2021 worldwide release. While it’s a long wait, the director promises fans that it is well worth it.

“Please have patience,” he told fans through his VARIETY interview. “This is gonna take a while, but we hope it’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen. We are so giddy every day and still can’t believe this is happening.”

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

Entertainment

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together. 

We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection. 

Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.

Kickstarter

So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos

Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.

Kickstarter

According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”. 

The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.

To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.

As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters. 

“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.

Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide

Kickstarter

The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination. 

As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before  “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.

Paid Promoted Stories

  1. Irving says:

    And I believed I was the only one believing this– totally concur with the point you
    make.

  2. Demi says:

    Hello to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this website, and
    your views are pleasant for new people.