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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Puerto Ricans in Paris is a fish-out-of-water comedy about two NYPD detectives who are sent on assignment to Paris. The comedy can be somewhat crass, as the character played by Luis Guzman considers himself a suave ladies' man and makes overt references to his sexual prowess and reputation. In one scene, a woman tries to seduce a married man. There's also a lot of strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "motherf----r," "a--hole," as well as some drinking and smoking and a couple of scenes of armed cops in pursuit of suspects -- and one in which a rogue character waves his gun at innocent people.
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What's the story?
PUERTO RICANS IN PARIS is a buddy-cop comedy that starts off in New York City, where Puerto Rican-American detectives Luis (Luis Guzmán) and Eddie (Edgar Garcia) are NYPD cops in the Luxury Goods Recovery Unit. After Luis and Eddie earn some notoriety for taking down a fake Louis Vuitton operation, Vincent (Frédéric Anscombre), a French businessman, and Colette (Alice Taglioni), an accessories designer, hire the pair to assist on a case in Paris: tracking down a missing purse that has yet to hit the high-end market. Lured by the possibility of a big payday, Luis and Eddie bid farewell to their loved ones (the former has a girlfriend played by Rosario Dawson; the latter a wife played by Rosie Perez) and head to the City of Light. Once there, cocky Luis struggles to fit in, while family man Eddie earns single mother Colette's (Alice Taglioni) admiration and possible interest.
Is it any good?
This formulaic buddy-cop comedy is better than expected thanks to decent performances by Guzmán and Garcia, who gamely ham it up as the titular fish out of water. It's been clear for decades that Guzmán is an impressive character actor who can swing from humor to villainy and back; in Puerto Ricans in Paris, he plays an arrogant detective who's also a ladies' man. And as ridiculous as that might sound given that Guzmán isn't a pretty-boy heartthrob, it works for his persona in this movie.
Even though the movie itself centers on a razor-thin plot that doesn't go far beyond the pitch of "Nuyorican cops temporarily live in Paris," at least Guzmán and Garcia -- best known for HBO's How to Make It in America, are likable enough as personality opposites. And somehow director Ian Edelman (who created How to Make It...) managed to convince the talented Dawson and Perez to join the film as the cops' significant others, even though they have little to do. Although there's not much substance to the movie, it's oddly poignant at times (like when Eddie bonds with Colette's young son) and just entertaining enough to make for an amusing stream or rental.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Puerto Ricans in Paris uses traditional genres and character roles to tell its culture-clash-meets-buddy-cop story.
What do audiences learn about Paris and Parisians? How about Puerto Ricans and New Yorkers? Would you consider any of the characters/humor stereotypical? Why or why not?
What is the movie's message about the importance of children and a fulfilling family life? Does the action and/or crude humor get in the way of that message at all?
- In theaters: June 10, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: August 2, 2016
- Cast: Luis Guzman, Alice Taglioni, Edgar Garcia
- Director: Ian Edelman
- Studio: Focus World
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language including some sexual references
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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