Thursday, June 9, 2016

PUERTO RICANS IN PARIS

Luis Guzman   Edgar Garcia   Rosario Dawson   Rosie Perez   Ravi Patel   Alice Taglioni



      A valuable designer bag is missing in Paris, and the designer Colette (Taglioni) and company representative come to New York to recruit two police detectives to find the thief.  Right away the script is suspect in even considering that a) Parisians would come to this country to get two gumshoes to find a designer bag, and b) that they would hire two overweight middle-aged detectives to do the job.  Actually, I think this is one of the things supposed to be funny in the film, but I didn’t hear any chuckles.
       Luis (Guzman) and Eddie (Garcia) are competitive brothers-in-law who work as a team.  Eddie is a bit brighter than his partner, and devoted to Luis’ sister Gloria (Perez) and their children.  Luis is with Vanessa (Dawson), but apprehensive about committing to her, and she promptly leaves him.  Once again, the viewer is scratching her head wondering how such an obnoxious socially inept old guy is able to get such a hottie to care about him.  But that is the script; it attributes implausible characteristics (attractiveness, detective skills) to these two buffoons.  And they’re supposed to be buffoons; that’s what the script calls for.
         Luis and Eddie make it to Paris and begin working on the case; they already have four suspects to interview.  Using their amazing detective skills, they feel sure they’ve come up with the culprit.  Meanwhile, they sample the nightlife, finding Colette a generous hostess and friend, and Luis continues to make inappropriate solicitations to pretty young women.  (His jealousy of Eddie for seeming to score with Colette makes him livid.) 
        But of course the script leads us along the garden path, and there will be twists and turns in the plot to keep us engaged until we find out who the actual culprit is (which will not be surprising to many). 
         The most positive part of this film is the time in Paris filled with creative living, beautiful sights and sounds, and European sensibilities.  The character of Collette embodies the cool, warm, generous, but very bright French woman whom we can admire—no matter the nationality.  She is the strongest part of Puerto Ricans in Paris.  It’s she you are most interested in and watch as she charms, expresses substantive social values, and is truly fun—the best of a chameleon. 
       I only wish Luis and Eddie were more her American counterparts; but they seem to show every trait opposite to that. I should make an exception for Eddie who ends up behaving as a genuine friend, canny investigator, and devoted family man.

Mildly entertaining (because of Paris), but not really a comedy.

Grade:  D+                        By Donna R. Copeland

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