It’s Romance Awareness Month And These Latino RomComs Are Perfect For Your Next Netflix And Chill

Entertainment

It’s Romance Awareness Month And These Latino RomComs Are Perfect For Your Next Netflix And Chill

FlixLatino / YouTube

Did you know that August is Romance Awareness Month? We’re guessing that, even if you didn’t, you probably felt it in your gut – and that’s what led you here. To get into the spirit of things, we’ve put together a list of ten latino rom-coms for you to watch through the dying days of summer. Just don’t blame us if you end up on a movie binge, babes.

1. Maid in Manhattan

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Jennifer Lopez captures our hearts in this 2002 fairytale-like movie that would put the original Cinderella story to shame. Lopez stars as a hard-working single mom stuck balancing parenting duties with her long hours at a ritzy hotel in, you guessed it, Manhattan. Ralph Fiennes – the guy who is actually Voldemort in the Harry Potter films – plays JLo’s rich, handsome, and effortlessly charming love interest. 

2. Doña Herlinda y Su Hijo (Dona Herlinda and Her Son)

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Would it be possible to have a list of Latino rom-coms without a movie about a mother overly invested in her child’s love life? Welcome to the kitsch 1985 film, Doña Herlinda y Su Hijo. Dona is determined to see her son give her the grandchild she so desperately wants. The catch? He’s gay. And, not only that – he’s head over heels for a student in Guadalajara. So what happens when Dona arranges a marriage, to a woman, for her son? Guess you’ll just have to watch to find out.

3. Hitch

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If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching this one before, then don’t be surprised to find out that Will Smith hasn’t even aged since this 2005 banger of a romance. Smith plays Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, who’s basically a dating coach crossed with every sleazy pick up artist you’ve feared swiping right on. His smooth game is disrupted when he meets Eva Mendes’ Sara, a career-driven, sassy Latina. Hijinks ensue as both of them eventually discover the value of a real, connected relationship.

4. Tan de repente (Suddenly)

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This 2002 black and white film begins with what seems like the start of just another workday for salesgirl Marcia. Of course, it’s anything but. She somehow ends up propositioned by two aggressive, dagger-wielding lesbians – Mao and Lenin. Even though Marcia isn’t interested, she’s abducted by the two, and is spirited away to the Lenin’s estranged aunt’s house. It’s there that Marcia learns that the two women aren’t as tough as they originally seemed.

5. From Prada to Nada

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Loosely based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, Sense and Sensibility, From Prada to Nada revolves around the trials and tribulations of two spoiled sisters left penniless from their father’s sudden death, who are forced to live with their estranged aunt in East Los Angeles. The two girls figure out pretty quickly that they’re going to have to work hard to get their standing back – whether it be by chasing careers, or chasing boys. 

6. Chasing Papi

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This 2003 rom-com, starring Roselyn Sánchez, Sofía Vergara, and Jaci Velasquez, centers around three women who discover that they’ve all been dating the same man. Surprise surprise, they’ve all affectionately nicknamed him “Papi”. The movie twists and turns into not only chasing Papi, but also avoiding the cops and some shady criminals.

7. Elura, Te Daría Mi Vida Pero Lo Estoy Usando (Elvira, I would give you my life but I am using it)

Instagram / @holamexicoff

Released in 2014, this film follows 40 year old mother of two, Elvira, in her quest to find her husband, Gustavo. Even though all signs point to the likelihood of Gustavo having an illicit affair, Elvira doesn’t rest until her husband is found.

8. ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño? (Don’t Blame The Kid)

Instagram / @morancasting

Our fave Karla Souza from How to Get Away With Murder stars as Maru in this Mexican film about a one-night stand that goes awry. After discovering she’s pregnant after a drunken night of fun, Maru decides the only way to move forward is by moving in with the father of her soon-to-be child. Naturally, things ramp up after she decides to move in with a complete stranger – but isn’t that the beauty of a classic rom-com?

9. Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate)

Pinterest / BFI

Considering this was the first Cuban film to be nominated for an Oscar for the best foreign language film, this 1994 gem begins with hints of a cute gay rom-com, before transforming into something else. The romance in this film is set against the political complexities of the Castro regime.

10. Corazón de Leon (Heart of a Lion)

Youtube / FlixLatino

This 2017 rom-com starts with the protagonist, León, discovering a lost cell phone. Naturally, he decides to call the owner, Ivana. Feeling their mutual attraction, León asks her out on a whim. But, he’s left out an important detail: he’s 4.4 feet tall. From there, Corazón de Leon explores how their mutual attraction could overcome shallow societal expectations.

So which movie are you going to watch first? Or, have you already seen them all? Tell us about it on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

These Are The Latinas Who Made OITNB Great And Why We Love Them So Much

Entertainment

These Are The Latinas Who Made OITNB Great And Why We Love Them So Much

oitnb / Instagram

Alerta! This article contains SPOILERS on the final season of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black!

Throughout seven seasons, Orange is the New Black has shown a microcosm of the United States in all its diversity (sexual, political and ethnic). The show led by Jenji Kohan (the mastermind behind Weeds) began airing in 2013 and through seven seasons it told the stories of women from all segments of society. 

The inmates of Litchfield Prison represent some of the most vulnerable members of society.

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

Among them, there are Latinas who have no papers or who come from impoverished backgrounds. Throughout the years we got to understand the Kafkaesque mechanisms through which the industrial incarceration system works and how it profits from disgrace. The show also cast a shadow of doubt over the fairness of the court system and how it is potentially discriminatory towards minorities.

This season is all about ICE detention centers. Remember the beautiful bond between Flaca and Maritza? Well, be ready to [cry in Spanish].

Credit: serelp / Instagram

The Vancouver Province, for example, rated the season highly, even though for some viewers season six lost a lot of steam, and it claims that the strength of the season lies in the ICE storyline: “The trickiest storyline, however, belongs to a frightening and undeniably timely one that takes place in an immigrant detention center where women from Central America to the Middle East and beyond are stuck with cocky ICE agents, and without any answers or real hope of getting the better life they were initially seeking.”

Veteran actress Kate Mulgrew, who plays Soviet queen Red, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Using the kitchen as the aperture into ICE and the detention center was such a powerful device. When I walked onto that set I had to stand still and say, ‘Oh, my God. This is what we are doing.’ It’s being reflected for the first time on this show. The creative accountability is great and the creative risk is even greater. She’s got some balls, Jenji Kohan”. Alysia Reiner, who plays former warden Natalie “Fig” Figueroa, expanded in the same roundtable: “I lost it when we were shooting inside the immigration courtroom. We did three takes and I couldn’t stop crying. Our writers told us, “We went to these courtrooms. We didn’t candy-coat this, but this is not as bad as it actually is right now.”

So what happened to our favorite Latinas? Last warning, some SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD! 

Maritza Ramos played by Diane Guerrero

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Right from season 1 we fell in love with Maritza, the sassy Colombian queen who ended up in prison for her elaborate scams. She is a cornerstone of the last season: her storyline meets reality, as she faces the immigration authorities. In real life, Diane Guerrero’s parents were deported when she was just a girl. Guerrero told The Hollywood Reporter: “The treatment of Maritza’s ending was a portrayal of how people treat deportations — that sentiment that you vanish is true. It’s as if you’ve never existed. Martiza is on that plane to an uncertain life”. Life is stranger than fiction, however, and Maritza’s case is not uncommon in the era of Trump (at whom the scriptwriters take a good amount of jabs). 

Gloria Mendoza played by Selenis Leyva

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This boricua lady is fierce as it comes (she is played by a Cuban, though, but totally gets that Caribbean sass). She always puts family first, both in and outside prison. She is one of the few characters with a somewhat redemptive ending. Her story strikes true to many Puerto Ricans who are treated as foreigners in their own country. In the last season, we see how Gloria left the island initially to work in New York and provide for her children.

The mother-daughter duo: Aleida and Dyanara Diaz, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez and Dasha Polanco

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

We learnt so much more about Aleida in the last season. She is a strong Latina who has had to protect herself from handsy men her whole life. She is combative and that leads her back into trouble after her release. The relationship she has with her daughter Dayanara is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Credit: Orange is the New Black / Netflix

Dayanara ended up all Scarface: running the prison with an iron fist. Or did she? (yes, we are giving you some spoilers, but no details here, no se espanten). Daya is the perfect example of how a twisted family can lead to an endless spiral of violence. 

Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales played by Jackie Cruz

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A cute and sometimes naive chola who is put in prison for drug fraud. She has a sisterly bond with Maritza. She is the typical inmate who ends up behind bars for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We leave her truly seeking redemption. The actress that plays her, Jackie Cruz, is a proud Dominican who is unafraid to speak about the biases in Hollywood. She told Elle about the roles that are available for actresses like her: “Lately, it’s been better. Well, the roles are still a little white-washed, but they’re better. It’s what a white person would think of a Latina. A white person writing for a Latina. For example, they don’t know that Dominicans don’t eat Chimichangas”. 

Blanca played by Laura Gomez

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

Her scenes in the immigration court are heartbreaking. In this microcosm, we get to see what hundreds of migrant women are going through, being separated from their children in some cases and facing deportation to a country they barely remember in others. Gomez told Digital Spy: “That was such a twist for everybody, myself included, and I could never have imagined that it was going to feel so emotional for people. The response on social media to this was devastating. Because we’re living this in real-time, it’s not like we’re telling a story in the past… It should be a story that isn’t happening”. Her story is very accurate, according to reports, particularly in how advocacy groups such as Freedom for Immigrants have been targeted by ICE and seen their advocacy efforts sabotaged. As a representative of the organization told In Style: “In 2013, ICE shut down three visitation programs that we were affiliated with, in response to a Huffington Post blog we wrote. Our personal cell phone numbers also have been blocked at various points in time from immigrant jails and prisons. And while we have continued to offer free phone calls to people in detention thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are still fighting to get our hotline restored”

Maria Ruiz played by Jessica Pimentel

Credit: thecrusher007 / Instagram

The Dominican freedom fighter! Her dad was an activist and she finds herself being angry at life for most of the show. She was pregnant when she was incarcerated and has a thorny relationship with her baby’s dad, who is taking care of little Pepa while Maria is in prison. Her crime: selling fake jeans. Yes, really. 

READ: Maritza’s Heartbreaking Storyline In ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Is A Reality So Many Undocumented People Face Every Day

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