Parents' Guide to

A La Mala

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Mildly charming romcom from Mexico gets a bit racy.

Movie PG-13 2015 99 minutes
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The Mexican romantic comedy A LA MALA is entirely conventional, and if it had been made in English, it likely would have been a waste of time. But perhaps because it's in Spanish, or perhaps because of Derbez' charisma, it generates enough charm and goodwill -- if not exactly laughs -- to ride pleasantly off into the sunset. The cliches start with the use of a goofy "sidekick," as well as the presence of a blandly handsome leading man (who doesn't generate much heat with his lovely lady -- the movie is far less sexy than it could have been). And it all quickly degenerates into a standard "lie" plot.

But Derbez generates intelligence and dignity in her role; Mala fights for a role worthy of her acting talents, rather than taking insultingly shallow or sexist parts. She's savvy in the ways of seduction but appealingly clueless when it comes to romance. Director Pedro Pablo Ibarra lets the movie run on a bit long, but at least he fills it with lovely, swoon-inducing music and scenery.

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