Entertainment

9 Popular Movie Genres That Would Honestly Be Better With Latinos

FilmDistrict

Movies! So much more than a fun way to lose 20-plus dollars! And Latinos happen to go to the movies more often than other groups, which is an important lil’ morsel of information to remember given the state of Latino representation in film.

So if we’re spending more money and time on movies than anyone else, why don’t we get to see more — and more diverse — representations of ourselves on film? (I mean, I have my theories, best left for another post.) Right now, let’s simply focus on the stories we could be seeing:

1. Noir

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Noir and Los Angeles go together like Los Angeles and never leaving your immediate neighborhood, yet this genre tends to focus predominantly on the experiences of white, gringo Angelenos, despite the reality that the City of Angels has always had a huge Latino (most notably Mexican) population. In fact, Latinos account for the majority of Angelenos.

Just imagine: A femme fatale, a hardboiled detective, an innocent dame (or is she????), and nefarious-dude-who-looks-great-in-a-hat who all happen to be Latino. Mexicans! Salvadorans! Maybe a Cuban from Glendale! It’d be fantastic.

2. Quirky-Ass Indie Comedy

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Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

One thing independent comedies have going for them (especially if they’re of the more twee and “quirky” variety) is that they get to showcase people at their most delightfully awkward, which is a far cry from how Latinos are often depicted in film. (One notable exception is Pedro, the Patron Saint Of Awkward Latinos On Film.) Where are the weird Latinos, guys? The awkward? The unsexy (but still pretty damn cute)? The socially inept? SHOW US TO US.

Just imagine: A movie about a group of friends on a road trip, all of ’em Latino, all of ’em with vastly different world views. Will hijinks ensue? YES!

3. Horror

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Imagine, if you will, a U.S. horror movie–starring an entirely Latino cast–that isn’t predicated on misunderstanding things like Día De Los Muertos (NO, IT’S NOT “MEXICAN HALLOWEEN”) or La Santa Muerte. So many diverse cultures are united by being goth as f*ck, so why don’t we have a movie that explores that in a truly scary, fun, well-made way?

Just imagine: A moody, heartbreaking look at the origin of La Llorona, without cheesy jump scares cheapening the emotional impact (and true terror) of the story. (Can you help us with this, Guillermo Del Toro? Please?)

4. Romantic Comedy

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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Romantic comedies are equal parts timeless and dated because they mostly adhere to a strict formula: Girl doesn’t realize that the perfect-ish guy was Right There All Along, they find love, their apartments are suspiciously large for whatever city they’re living in. Also, with few exceptions, both Girl and Guy are white gringos. Sometimes one is Latino (and usually Jennifer Lopez). But imagine if both leads were Latino? Imagine a Latino couple seated in a Nancy Meyers dream-terior, finding that they really CAN have it all! It’s something we’ve yet to see explored on the big screen.

Just imagine: Two young Cuban men–one second generation, one new to the U.S.–meet and fall in love with the Miami skyline as their backdrop.

5. …And The Nicholas Sparksian Romantic Cry-Fest

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Credit: Playbuzz / Maximum Pop

In this particular sub-genre, two people–both white, probably both named Taylor–meet, usually on a bridge or beside a barn, always in autumn, and fall in love. The kind love that it can only be torn asunder by someone inevitably dying before the end credits. But you know what other genre features overwrought love stories with little motivation, usually ending in tragedy? Telenovelas. In fact, these genres aren’t so different, and there’s a lot to be mined from combining the blinding whiteness of Nicholas Sparks-inspired movies with the engrossing drama of telenovelas.

Just imagine: Autumn. A rustic bridge. A grandmother gives her granddaughter a locket. Flashback 50 years: Two young Venezuelans clasp hands, tears rolling down their cheeks. “Take this locket,” the dude whispers. “It’ll come into play at the end of the movie in a way that is both moving and romantic. You gon’ cry.”

6. The Ubiquitous And Seemingly Unending Superhero Redux Genre

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Credit: Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Looking at the recent 10 billion movies DC and Marvel have blasted our way, you’d think that there were no Latino heroes at all (except the dude with face tats who made the love of his life go up in flames). But they exist, many of them are interesting and complex, and it’d be kind of nice to see them do their thing on the big screen. In fact, The Wrap recently featured an in-depth look at why we haven’t seen better Latino representation in this genre, as well as some possible characters that would help skittish white executives green light something different for once.

Just imagine: A Miles. Morales. Movie.

7. Narcosploitation

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Credit: Netflix

Ok, I know, I know! But stick with me here: A genre unto itself, movies and TV shows about drug cartels and the lovable rascals who run ’em tend to both 1) over-index slightly when it comes to depictions of Latinos in media and yet 2) tell their stories from the perspective of white gringo folks. And they’re not stopping anytime soon. In fact, Jennifer Lopez (hi, again) is set to star in an HBO movie about “cocaine godmother” Griselda Blanco. So we’re not asking for this genre to stop, dry up, or stop existing. At this point, their existence is a given. What we can ask for, however, is a pivot, to see whether this genre can possibly focus on the rise and fall of the drug trade from the point of view of 1) Latinos who are 2) negatively impacted by the real pain, loss, and destruction caused by the drug trade 3) rather than focusing solely on Latino characters who faceplant into piles of cocaine while Rome burns around them.

Just imagine: A movie about drug cartels that actually show the damage inflicted by drug cartels on a human level without using a gringo DEA agent as a de facto stand-in for the audience.

8. Sweeping Period Drama Featuring Big, Fancy Hats

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Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Merchant Ivory-type movies, filled with gloriously large hats and various people swooning onto various chaise lounges, mostly concern themselves with British people pining for one another on foggy moors or, sometimes (because colonialism) in China or India. Sometimes these movies are adaptations of books by Jane Austen or E.M. Forster or D.H Lawrence. But the U.S. and Latin America also have their fair share of beloved, sweeping novels about people swooning over one another, and it’d be wonderful to see those stories adapted for the big screen.

Just imagine: Literally any portrayal of Latin America that involves a ballroom scene, a nice hat and a fraught political climate resulting in a love torn asunder.

9. Sci-Fi

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Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

OK, here we’re making some progress, thanks in no small part to the Star Wars franchise and the roles it’s given to Diego Luna and Oscar Isaac (who also deserves credit for being the best part of Ex Machina, even though his character wasn’t explicitly Latino) and the phenomenal Sleep Dealer. But those are but two roles and two stories in a genre that could use so many more Latino experiences and faces. If the future is becoming increasingly Latino, shouldn’t casting choices reflect that? Shouldn’t our view of the future and its possibilities include many, many, many more Rodriguezes and Garcías? (And maybe slightly fewer Damons. I never forget, Elysium.)

Just imagine: A visually stunning exploration of a future Latino utopia called “Pochotopia.” With some robots, maybe.


Basically, we’re asking for two things: 1) More Latinos simply existing onscreen, being a part of the world presented to us in film, and 2) an increase in Latino stories, specific to the (many) culture(s) we’ve grown up with, and the unique experiences and situations that are unique to this ethnicity. Also, a break for Jennifer Lopez, because the woman is having a hell of a time being the sole Latina across so many disparate genres.


READ: 17 Perfectly Creepy Horror Movies By Latinos To Watch Before You Die

What other genre would you like to see feature more Latino stories and actors? Musicals? Erotic thrillers? The next David Lynch film? Tell us!

The Internet Is Thirsting For Maluma And J.Lo As A Couple Following News They’ll Star In A New Movie Together

Entertainment

The Internet Is Thirsting For Maluma And J.Lo As A Couple Following News They’ll Star In A New Movie Together

maluma / JLo / Instagram

It looks like Maluma is ready to add actor to his resume. The “Felices Los 4” singer has just been confirmed to play Jennifer Lopez’s cheating husband in the new film, Marry Me.

And the Internet let out a collective..uffff.

It’s confirmed that Maluma and Jennifer Lopez, two giant Latino icons, will play alongside each other in a new movie.

Credit: @viralrosariook / Twitter

Translation: Maluma is on his way to the big screen. He’ll play a Rockstar in “Marry Me” and Jennifer Lopez will be his wife. And there will be a third played by Owen Wilson will be a math teacher.

They’ll be playing an engaged couple in the new film, Marry Me.

Credit: @Glucmx / Twitter

The plotline sounds like it has hints of Selena, Lopez’s breakthrough, plus 2018’s A Star Is Born—which recently found another pop star (Lady Gaga) playing a…pop star. And considering Lopez just recovered from an epic power outage at Madison Square Garden in real life, she’s bound to take this role on as a natural.

But since he cheats on her and J.Lo marries someone else…we can’t help but wonder how big Maluma’s part will be.

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In it, a pop star (here, played by Lopez) gears up to take the stage and marry her famous fiancé (Maluma) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden—only to find the man being unfaithful with her assistant. As the official description for the movie states, she then proceeds to have a meltdown on stage…and then picks a random guy from the audience (Owen Wilson) to say “I do” to instead.

Some on Twitter were giving a shout out to J Lo for helping get more Latinos on the big screen.

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Films, especially big Hollywood films need wayyyy more Latino representation and including a Colombian singer in the mix is a great move on behalf of STX Studios.

After his record with Madonna and collaboration with J Balvin, among others, Maluma is quickly becoming a household name and this role with J Lo will only help propel him to even more success.

While others were just happy (read: thirsty) to see Maluma up there on a big giant screen.

Credit: @JustJared / Twitter

Maluma already gives his fans plenty to see on his Instagram but imagine all of that man up on the big screen?! Yea, we are too.

READ: Here Are 25 Maluma Thirst Posts That We Definitely Double Tapped

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

selenagomez / Instagram

Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

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Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

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Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

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Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

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Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

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She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

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Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

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“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

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She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

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“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

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Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

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Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

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