A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that How to Be a Latin Lover is a lighthearted comedy about an aging gigolo (Eugenio Derbez) who gets dumped by his elderly, very wealthy wife and must move in with his sister and her young son. It's pretty racy, with lots of sexual innuendo and suggestive language, as well as swimwear so scanty that it borders on non-existent. There's also some strong language ("s--t," "crap," etc.), cigar smoking, and drinking (once to excess, followed by a hangover). Characters fight and get beaten up. And while the movie initially plays on lots of stereotypes related to women and gender roles, in the end there's a message about the importance of love and family.
What's the story?
Ever since he was a young boy, Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) had one goal: to be the kept husband of a very rich, older woman. Now in his mid-40s (there's some dispute about his exact age), Maximo has achieved his dream ... until his wife dumps him for a younger man, and he finds himself on the street with no career skills and expensive tastes. Maximo's sister, Sara (Salma Hayek), reluctantly lets him stay with her and her young son, Hugo (Raphael Alejandro). While Maximo tries to find another rich wife, he decides to give his nephew lessons in HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER. Rob Lowe co-stars as Maximo's best friend, another kept man, and Kristen Bell plays Maximo's cat-rescuing co-worker.
Is it any good?
Irreverent and infectious, with a healthy dash of raciness, this film is wacky fun. Derbez is shameless and often hysterical as a Latin lover gone to seed; he makes the film crackle with energy. Even though Maximo is a terrible person -- spoiled, self-centered, lazy and shallow -- it's fun to see him struggle with the tedious demands of the world, like earning money and demonstrating basic decency. His relationship with Hugo ultimately brings out the goodness in Maximo, revealing that, deep down, he has a streak of decency -- though he is still using the boy as a stepping stone to his next would-be wife (Raquel Welch).
Hayek's Sara also has good chemistry with her callous brother; they bicker like they've been fighting since childhood. It's the human connections in How to be a Latin Lover that make it rise above its outlandish plot and sometimes-broad stereotyping. We see that even someone like Maximo can get what they want, if they work for it. Despite its premise, the film somehow manages to seduce the audience's heart.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about How to Be a Latin Lover's messages. How does Maximo change over the course of the movie? Does he become a better person? Does he learn humility?
What do you think about the relationship between Maximo and his nephew? Is he helping the boy learn how to approach girls, or is he reinforcing outdated, sexist views?
- In theaters: April 28, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: August 15, 2017
- Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe
- Director: Ken Marino
- Studio: Pantelion Films
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 115 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude humor, sexual references and gestures, and for brief nudity
- Last updated: June 11, 2020
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