• FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

Instructions Not Included

Instructions Not Included

Directed by Eugenio Derbez. Starring Eugenio Derbez, Jessica Lindsey, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Alessandra Rosaldo. (2013, PG-13, 115 min.)

REVIEWED By Louis Black, Fri., Sept. 6, 2013

This latest example of commercial theatrical cinema success scored by playing to an underserved U.S. market during its opening weekend. The Mexican comedy, Instructions Not Included became a surprise hit. Mexican TV star Eugenio Derbez stars in the film, as well as directing, co-writing, and co-producing.

Playboy Valentín (Derbez), the romantic scourge of Acapulco, is all the rage until Julie, a former girlfriend (Lindsey), leaves him with their baby. Suddenly, he is a father. He leaves Mexico for the states where, almost accidentally, he becomes a successful stunt man. Earning a lucrative income as a single parent, he raises Maggie (Peralta), his daughter. They live in a childlike world of toys and eating morning cereal in matching pajamas. There is a sweet and very real chemistry between the two, with each of them being both child and adult.

Unexpectedly, after six years or so, Julie, the child’s mother reappears. In the interim, she has become a successful lawyer. At first, she is content to leave things as they are; she and her female partner Reneé (Rosaldo) occasionally visit Valentín and Maggie as a kind of extended family. Soon, however, Julie falls in love with Maggie (who is pleased to have a mom), and wants to take the child away to raise her.

What was a comedy becomes a drama with many courtroom scenes reminding one of nothing so much as Kramer vs. Kramer. Charming and entertaining, if overlong and a bit too melodramatic, Instructions ultimately works because of the cast.

READ MORE
More Eugenio Derbez Films
Jack and Jill
Two Adam Sandlers for the price of one? And Al Pacino?! It's still not worth it.

Marc Savlov, Nov. 18, 2011

No Eres Tú, Soy Yo
In this Mexican romantic comedy, a man only discovers his true love while pining for the one he lost.

Marjorie Baumgarten, April 8, 2011

More by Louis Black
Page Two: Dream Is Destiny
Page Two: Dream Is Destiny
Louis Black finds himself at Sundance – a Jersey kid from Texas, a writer slipped into filmmaker

Feb. 5, 2016

Page Two: It's Always <i>Twine Time</i>
Page Two: It's Always Twine Time
Follow the music

Jan. 22, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Instructions Not Included, Eugenio Derbez, Eugenio Derbez, Jessica Lindsey, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Alessandra Rosaldo

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, SXSW Daily Edition

Our latest from SXSW 2016, delivered March 11-20

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways