7.2/10
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143 user 60 critic

Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

R | | Drama, Romance | 2 May 2003 (USA)
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A Lower East Side teen-ager struggles to find some sanity while surrounded by an eccentric grandmother, a crazy new girlfriend, and a longing younger brother.

Director:

Peter Sollett

Writers:

Peter Sollett (story), Peter Sollett | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Comedy

Plot unknown. Described as a romantic comedy where where a federal agency finds a perfect match for singles.

Director: Peter Sollett
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Rasuk ... Victor
Donna Maldonado Donna Maldonado ... Donna
Kevin Rivera Kevin Rivera ... Harold
Krystal Rodriguez Krystal Rodriguez ... Vicki
Judy Marte ... Judy
Melonie Diaz ... Melonie
Matthew Roberts Matthew Roberts ... Hector
Alexander Garcia Alexander Garcia ... Al
John Ramos John Ramos ... Macho
Theresa Martinez Theresa Martinez ... Judy's Mom
Altagracia Guzman Altagracia Guzman ... Grandma
Silvestre Rasuk Silvestre Rasuk ... Nino
Wilfree Vasquez Wilfree Vasquez ... Carlos
Randy Luna Randy Luna ... Pool Boy #3
Jeff Knite ... Pool Boy #4 (as Jeff Asencio)
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Storyline

Victor is growing up on the Lower East Side and is at the age where he is driven by desire and unchained by maturity. His image as a ladies man is shattered when he is found in Fat Donna's bedroom. Soon, as a result of his sister's big mouth, the whole Dominican community knows. Full of confidence, Victor sets out to reclaim his image by winning Judy. Judy proves to be elusive and difficult. Victor persists, and with a surprising tenderness, ultimately wins Judy's heart. Written by johnno.r@xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

2 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Long Way Home See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,166, 30 March 2003

Gross USA:

$2,078,661

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,816,116
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's working title was "Long Way Home". See more »

Quotes

Guy hanging out: [to Melonie and Judy] I'll f*ck you so hard, your aunt is gonna feel it!
See more »

Connections

Remake of Five Feet High and Rising (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Casado y Cansado (No Puedo Mas)
Written by Coati Mundi (as Coati Mundi Hernandez)
Produced by Coati Mundi
Performed by ManicPhonic Meltdown
See more »

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User Reviews

Not So Sexy
26 January 2003 | by baho2See all my reviews

If I had known this movie was about teen sex I never would have gone. Fortunately, I didn't, because I would have missed a rather remarkable film at Sundance. Raising Victor Vargas is about a non-traditional Hispanic family in New York's lower east side. Victor Vargas is a hormonally charged teenager with one thing on his mind. (If we believe the film, every young male in Spanish Harlem is preoccupied with similar thoughts.)

Then Victor meets Judy. Unable to make a sexual conquest, the relationship develops into something more meaningful for both of them. It is this process of discovery which is so encouraging and uplifting, as Victor learns, with the help of a firm and loving (if sometimes misguided) grandmother, a deeper set of values-genuine caring, friendship and family. As his façade of cultural expectations wears off, the vulnerable but inherently well-meaning Victor emerges with a more mature outlook, strengthened principles and firmer moral grounding. You might argue that the transition is a bit forced and happens too suddenly. Nevertheless, it is cause for celebration.

This is not to say that the movie is a propaganda piece for pre-marital abstinence. There is enough promiscuity to make parents think twice about letting their teens see the film. But the over-riding theme of the movie builds the case that the sexual preoccupation of youth is selfish and immature.

Director Peter Sollett employed inexperienced actors with an improvisational style, and managed to elicit extraordinarily real and believable performances from Victor Rasuk (Victor) and Judy Marte (Judy). By focussing intently on the individual, and encouraging freedom of expression, Sollett is able to capture truth on film, without too much embellishment. He takes us to a world where we expect to find despair, and leaves us with hope and faith in the spirit of youth.


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