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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know if I'm actually giving you a spoiler or not, but just to
be on the safe side, be warned.
I expected so much more from this movie... Few times in my life have I been so disappointed by a movie, I don't even know where to begin. When I saw the previews, I thought it might be a good storyline... Fidel arriving in Miami as a "balsero".
But its very clear that those who wrote this story/screenplay were not Cubans at all! Much less were they well-informed on Cuban culture (expressions, mannerisms, history, politics, etc.). You can tell from the start that most of the "actors" are Mexican and they really suck at portraying Cubans. Mexicans have a way of imitating Cubans that is really cheesy, over the top, and at times even insulting. And that is what they have done in this movie. Obviously nobody took the time to hire a Cuban dialect coach. It is so sad that even the main character (Fidel) doesn't have even the slightest Cuban accent.
On the other hand, I also could not understand why on Earth they spoke most of the movie in English. And it was BAD English. The kind of ESL accent that is very common in Mexicans. I found even that to be annoying.
Johnny Lozada as "Carlitos" was such a cliché of a Latin gay man that it wasn't even funny. This was beyond Overacting. I don't know who in their right mind thinks that Alicia Machado/"Gisselle" can act. And the list goes on.
I kept watching this movie hoping it would get better, but that never happened. You keep waiting for the story to get better or for "something" to actually happen, but it never does. Not even the soundtrack is worth a penny. Don't waste your money. I'm sorry I did.
I almost didn't watch "I Love Miami" based on the severe reaming it's
gotten from IMDb reviewers. But actually the negative reviews made me
even more interested to find out for myself. So I popped this in the
DVD player with a bucket full of popcorn ready to be thrown at the
I'm happy to report that no popcorn was hurled. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I still can't understand why everyone else hates this movie (unless it offends people politically?), but I found this to be a very sly, stylish & well-produced film. It has some great deadpan comedy as well as some interesting political themes and a poignant commentary on human nature.
Other reviewers have complained about the lack of authentic Cuban accents, mannerisms and dialects. I wouldn't know about any of that. And honestly, improper accents don't bother me as long as the acting is good (example: John Malkovich playing the King of France in "The Messenger"). I thought the acting here was fantastic, from the lead roles down to the supporting cast. Two standounts are the cute little kid and the spazzy gay waiter who made me laugh every time he came on the screen. I don't know the female actors' names, but they were all excellent, each bringing a distinct personality to the production. The star of the show, Juan Luis Galiardo (who plays Fidel Castro), is a classic deadpan curmudgeon. Something about him reminds me of the great George C. Scott in "Dr. Strangelove".
Other elements of the Castro character make me think of Christopher Walken ("Suicide Kings"), the way he can play a cruel, cold-hearted monster, but he still makes us laugh, and we still love him.
Castro, for all his scowling and growling, is indeed presented as a protagonist with a human side, and maybe that's why so many people hate this movie. I suppose, to many Cubans, it's the equivalent of showing the human side of Adolph Hitler. All I can say is that this is a dark comedy with elements of irony & satire, and the filmmakers are BY NO MEANS glorifying Castro.
Enough politics, let's talk about the movie. The plot is pretty funny right off the bat: Fidel Castro, the dictator responsible for sending countless numbers of his countrymen fleeing to the USA, himself ends up on a raft bound for Miami. One thing leads to another, and he winds up as a busboy in a restaurant. This isn't what I'd call a madcap comedy, but it packs some good laughs, and I had a smile on my face for 75% of the movie.
The other 25% involves some heavy drama, some suspense and political intrigue, and a dash of romance & sentimentality which I thought was perfectly handled (not syrupy sweet). There's also some wonderful symbolism & allegory if you're paying attention. For example, there's a funny rivalry going on between the restaurant where Castro works and the restaurant across the street. This can be viewed as a political metaphor, and Castro's solution fits him perfectly.
But overall this isn't about politics but rather, it's about human qualities we all share, whether we're normal schmoes or grand dictators. The film gives us some great illustrations of pride, revenge, forgiveness, understanding and loyalty. And there's also a staggering Machiavellian theme that weaves its way throughout the story which I won't ruin for you. I'll just say that the film left me feeling absolutely satisfied, and the ending was both unexpected and totally believable.
If you've read this far in my review, DON'T HESITATE to see this movie. If nothing else, you can see for yourself if it's as bad as other reviewers say. But if you keep an open mind, I'm willing to bet you may be surprised & end up loving it as much as I did.
I thought it was pretty good. It was really interesting and it gave you two sides to the story about those wanting to come to America fleeing from Cuba and how they think about the country they left behind and a possibility of what Fidel might have gone though had he come on a boat. It's interesting to watch. I say get it and watch it for yourself. I liked it personally. But again I like docudramas too. It had some light humor as well and drama and serious parts. Overall good flick. The ending didn't make me mad like some movies do. The ending is pretty believable if what happened in the film really happened laughing out loud!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a spoiler, so readers please be aware. Although this movie had the participation of Castro's Daughter it is not a guarantee of good production neither good acting, on one hand we have the over rated Mexican soap opera actors and an ex miss universe trying to play in a serious roll. In México they've been trying to sell the idea that is a good movie since it has popular actors and are trying to catch the eye of the press by selling the idea of Castro's Daughter telling some secrets about Fidel's life, just another lie. More than a drama this movie should be considered as pure science fiction next to Ed Woods work (sorry Ed), cheesy and boring. What will be next? a movie about Che Guevaras life trying to star in American Idol?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The premise of this film sounded as though it could have possibilities.
The arrival of an aging Fidel Castro to Florida is something
unimaginable! The Cuban dictator and the exiles have been at odds ever
since he came into power almost a half a century ago. Unfortunately,
the team responsible for this comedy had no clue about what they were
The creators of "I Love Miami", Alejandro Gonzalez Padilla and Monica Abin, don't bring anything new to a story that doesn't make any sense at all. Then, there is the central casting of Juan Luis Galiardo in the main role. The Spanish actor can't hide his accent at all, thus making the Fidel he is trying to portray, a caricature of the worst possible kind.
The different accents used by the cast are distracting, adding to the overall effect of confusion. This is a film to be seen at the viewer's own risk.
I was so excited when I came across this DVD at the video store because the plot sounded so good - Fidel Castro finding himself a refugee in Miami. Well, that is about where the entertainment stopped. The movie is bad...really, really bad. The acting is awful - with Alicia Machado being the worst. Ex-Menudo Johnny Lozada is somewhat believable as a gay man but the character is pointless. Even Jaime Camil, who is usually pretty good, was awful in this movie. The only likable character and actor is the little kid, even if he looks a little too much like Elian Gonzales. The Spanish dialog throughout the movie is bad because they do not even sound Cuban with Machado overdoing the accent and Camil not even attempting it. When they speak English it is even worst because the accents are just the awful stereo-typical portrait of a Hispanic immigrant . To make matters worst, there is really no story there. The movie is billed as a dark comedy but to be any type of comedy it would first have to be funny. Don't waste your time with this movie.
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