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How to Be a Latin Lover

How to Be a Latin Lover

Directed by Ken Marino. Starring Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch, Linda Lavin, Renée Taylor, Michael Cera, Rob Riggle, Rob Huebel, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins. (2017, PG-13, 115 min.)

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., May 5, 2017

In 2013, Mexican comedy superstar Eugenio Derbez wrote, directed, and starred in the international hit Instructions Not Included, which is reported to be the highest grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. history. Looking to consolidate his crossover success, Derbez is back with the new comedy How to Be a Latin Lover, which is designed for maximum popularity with audiences on both sides of the Rio Grande. But given the deep bench of American talent co-starring in the film, as well as its California shooting locations and the majority of its dialogue being spoken in English, it’s clear that with this film Derbez is swinging for the American side of the border, where there’s little doubt that this comedy will, at least, get on base.

How to Be a Latin Lover, the story of a gigolo, is a study in contrasts: It’s both sentimental and funny. The opening sequence offers a good sense of what we’re in for. Two young children reflect on their perfect lives with mama and papa and their rural isolation to a point at which their sappy dialogue is hardly bearable a minute longer. Then a wonderfully funny (yet tragic) sight gag occurs from out of left field (quite literally), and you realize we’ve been set up for a very good laugh. Ken Marino, of Childrens Hospital, The State, and Bad Milo, is a perfect director for this material, given his proven penchant for awkward humor. After that opening prologue, Latin Lover skips ahead a couple of decades, to show us the story of Maximo (Derbez) and how he has fulfilled his childhood desire of living the good life as a paid gigolo. Maximo’s constant prowl for rich old women provides juicy roles for actresses we haven’t seen much of in the movies of late: Renée Taylor, Linda Lavin, and Raquel Welch (and anyone who recalls Welch’s guest appearance on an episode of Seinfeld, in which her arm-swinging becomes a central plot point, will find extra resonance in her character’s comic twist in Latin Lover).

The humor is both broad and lowbrow, yet often extremely funny. Reconnecting in Los Angeles with his now-grown sister Sara (Hayek, clearly having fun acting with Derbez, as if they were back in the Mexican soap operas where they both made their bones), Maximo eventually learns how to be an uncle to Sara’s adorable son Hugo (Alejandro), who provides fodder for most of the movie’s heart. Kristen Bell plays a character who’s a genuine, if ridiculous, kook, and Rob Riggle and Rob Huebel also play comical nutjobs. Meanwhile, Maximo’s fellow tribe of gigolos is played with great cynicism by Rob Lowe and Michael Cera. How to Be a Latin Lover is rude, randy (particularly among the older women), and heartwarmingly cute. As one of the gigolos says, “Once you lower your expectations, the sky’s the limit.”

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy  512/306-1991

www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

MON MAY 22

TUE MAY 23

WED MAY 24

Cinemark Hill Country Galleria 14

12812 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave  800/326-3264

www.cinemark.com/theater_showtimes.asp?theater_id=377

MON MAY 22

digital: 10:25am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:35, 10:30

TUE MAY 23

digital: 10:25am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:35, 10:30

WED MAY 24

digital: 10:15am, 1:05, 4:00

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

MON MAY 22

digital: 10:55am, 1:40, 4:50, 7:35, 10:40

TUE MAY 23

digital: 10:55am, 1:40, 4:50, 7:35, 10:40

WED MAY 24

digital: 10:55am, 1:40, 4:50, 7:35, 10:40

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

MON MAY 22

digital: 10:30am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

TUE MAY 23

digital: 10:30am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

WED MAY 24

digital: 10:30am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle  512/523-9009

www.evo-entertainment.com

MON MAY 22

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 8:00, 10:35

TUE MAY 23

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 8:00, 10:35

WED MAY 24

11:00am, 4:15, 10:35

THU MAY 25

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 8:00, 10:35

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville  512/467-7305

www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

MON MAY 22

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50, 9:25

TUE MAY 23

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50, 9:25

WED MAY 24

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50, 9:25

THU MAY 25

ClosedCap;DescListen;HI: 12:35, 3:40, 6:50, 9:25

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake  512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

MON MAY 22

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 7:25, 10:25

TUE MAY 23

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 7:25, 10:25

WED MAY 24

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 7:25, 10:25

THU MAY 25

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas  512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

MON MAY 22

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 6:45, 10:00

TUE MAY 23

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 6:45, 10:00

WED MAY 24

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 6:45, 10:00

THU MAY 25

CC/DVS: 1:00, 3:50, 6:45, 10:00

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos  512/805-8000

MON MAY 22

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 8:00, 10:35

TUE MAY 23

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 8:00, 10:35

WED MAY 24

11:00am, 4:15, 10:35

THU MAY 25

11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 8:00, 10:35

Tinseltown North

N. I-35 & FM 1825, Pflugerville  512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

MON MAY 22

digital: 1:45, 4:40, 7:45, 10:45

TUE MAY 23

digital: 1:45, 4:40, 7:45, 10:45
READ MORE
More Eugenio Derbez Films
Miracles From Heaven
This Christian-centric film wears its faith on its sleeve

Steve Davis, March 18, 2016

Instructions Not Included
In this Mexican film, a man who's raised an abandoned child for six years is confronted by the birth mother who suddenly wants the girl back.

Louis Black, Sept. 6, 2013

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
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May 19, 2017

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The man who would be kingmaker

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

How to Be a Latin Lover, Ken Marino, Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch, Linda Lavin, Renée Taylor, Michael Cera, Rob Riggle, Rob Huebel, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins

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