I was disappointed to see the low rating this film got overall, but I noticed that about 1/3 of voting viewers gave it a 10. If you like it, you really like it. And the people who like it most are Dominicans. Is this because it only appeals to people from that particular island country? I have recommended it to friends and students only to hear them complain about plot and characterization being too...stereotyped. Balbuena is a bit of a caricature. This is in the great tradition of Hispanic comedy, including pictures like the Cantiflas films and Mi familia (with its roots in Chicano theater). It has something in common with early Spike Lee (e.g. Do the Right Thing) and also a film like John Sayles' Brother from Another Planet. It does not offer psychological realism of the sort that reinforces bourgeois individualism. But if you would like to have a taste of Dominican culture and you aren't afraid to temporarily give up your Hollywood aesthetic, this film could be for you. And Balbuena is funny as hell.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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