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The Perez Family (1995)

In an attempt to secure a sponsor, an unlikely group of Cuban refugees become a "family" as the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service gives families priority over others. In the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ranjit Chowdhry ...
Indian immigration official
Officer Rhoades
Jose Felipe Padron ...
Felipe Perez
Lázaro Pérez ...
Armando 'Papi' Perez
Steve Steverino
Billy Hopkins ...
Father Aiden


In an attempt to secure a sponsor, an unlikely group of Cuban refugees become a "family" as the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service gives families priority over others. In the process, a political prisoner who hasn't seen his wife for twenty years and a disaffected sugarcane cutter fall in love. An excitable brother and a lovestruck cop contribute to the general confusion. The inevitable humorous romantic entaglements ensue as a final confrontation is set up. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A family became strangers and strangers became a family. See more »


Comedy | Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 May 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando salí de Cuba  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón was supposed to be directing this film, but pulled out before production started. See more »


When Dottie goes to make out with the security guard at the bar, the first wide shot shows her without her orange pants on, just black panties. In the next shot, she is wearing her pants, then the security guard precedes to pull them down, showing the black panties previously shown from a far distance in the first wide shot. See more »


Dorita Evita Perez: When I dreamed about coming here. I never dreamed about juan, and when I met him I was free the way I thought the United States was free... inside of him free. After so many years... how could the gods have planned it this way.
See more »


Features Angel and the Badman (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Poor character motivation make much of this nonsensical.
3 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

At first, I thought this film had some promise. It could have gone either way - a drama or a comedy. It never made up its mind. There were some genuinely funny scenes, engaging enough to assume we could smile, if not laugh out loud. But that was not to be. Acting went over the top - one actor after another striving to be a Cuban, but none succeeding. Tomei was outrageously bad - phony accent, incomprehensible mood swings. Nothing about her character was consistent. As a matter of fact, none of the characters made much sense. Poor Chazz Palmenteri (Lt. Pirelli), an actor of some substance, had no substance here - the script not allowing meaning or motivation for his character. Alfred Molina (Perez) started out as dark and brooding, his love for the beautiful Carmela (Angela Houston) ruling his every thought. Then when he finally finds her, you'd think, wow, now this guy's going to go crazy to get her (after all, it's been twenty years in prison thinking only of her). What does he do? Runs away because an alarm system went off - and stays away. Mind you, this is his great love. And Carmela. What's with her? She's been prostrate for 20 yrs. thinking only of Perez and along comes a cop (Chazz) and she's totally overwhelmed. Her brother does not seem to not want Carmela and Perez to reunite, but then, for no reason at all, when he sees Perez at a dance where Carmella is dancing happily with Chazz, he screams to Carmela something like "Look, look, it's Perez, he's here." Carmela pulls out a gun and aims it at poor Perez - she's going to shoot him! OK, so she doesn't recognize him, maybe, but why shoot the poor guy who is in no way threatening, just a sad, pleading face on the dance floor. Explain that to me. Sorry, I don't see it. If ever there was a film where character motivation was weak, indeed, absent, this is it.

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