Instructions Not Included (2013) Poster

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7/10
Eugenio Derbez should become a big star in Mexico and the U.S. (after this)!
Hellmant23 January 2014
'INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Blockbuster Mexican comedy-drama film about a playboy living in Acapulco who becomes a single father to a young girl, when her mother abandons her at his door one day. Drama develops when the mother returns six years later wanting to rejoin her daughter's life. The film was directed by, co-written and stars Eugenio Derbez. Derbez is a popular Mexican television actor making his feature film directorial and writing debut. The film has become the highest grossing Spanish-language movie in the United States and the highest-grossing Mexican film of all time as well. I found it to be funny and somewhat emotional and am especially impressed by Derbez (in all his film duties).

Derbez plays Valentín, a playboy living in Acapulco who had a very adventurous childhood; as his father (Hugo Stiglitz) put him in all kinds of dangerous situations in order to teach him to overcome his fears. Now he's become a self absorbed man child but that all changes when a woman from his past, Julie (Jessica Lindsey), shows up at his door telling him he's the father of her baby. After asking for some cash to pay her cab driver she takes off, leaving the baby with Derbez (who must then take care of it on his own). Valentin moves with the child to America and get's a job as a successful stuntman. The reluctant father soon finds happiness with his daughter (Loreto Peralta) until her mother shows back up six years later.

Derbez is a really good comic actor; he has a ton of enthusiasm, energy and character. He also is a good director (the movie looks beautiful) and clever writer. He's almost entirely the reason this movie really works (and was such a success at the box office). The other actors are all decent but the story and comedic scenarios are nothing we haven't seen before. Derbez really shines though; he should become a big star in Mexico and the U.S. (after this)!

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8/10
Warm, funny, a bit silly at times but truly moving and smartly made
secondtake28 March 2015
Instructions Not Included (2013)

A mostly Mexican comedy about a single man who abruptly finds himself raising a baby girl. And things get funny and wild from there, and enchanting. The goofiness that makes you think the movie is actually kind of stupid (or even bad) mellows and sharpens up as it goes and after half an hour there is a different kind of humor and warmth that really works.

Part of the magic here is the two leads—the father and the little girl—are terrific. And they get along in a way that makes the whole movie buzz. There are still a few corny jokes, but mostly the humor is made up of the funny feelgood things that come along in life.

Amazingly this is Eugenio Derbez's first stab at a feature movie, after years of Mexican television. In fact, the first half hour is exactly like Mexican television. And we all grow out of it together, which is a relief and a sign that there might be more good things to come from this man. (This is true of Mexican directors in general, take note of the last two winners of Best Picture, 2013 and 2014, along with their cinematographer.)

So if you expect something canned or obvious here, you'll be surprised. What you do get above all is a sincere, human drama that is mostly airy and fresh. There are some silly clichés—characters who play types and only the thinnest of those types—but we are lucky that almost all of the movie includes the leading man and the little girl. Watch this and make sure you stick it out past the establishing scenes that build up for a good half hour.
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8/10
Beautiful
Bored_Dragon18 October 2016
This is not a comedy. The summary on IMDb could lead you to wrong expectations from this movie. It is somewhat funny, but it definitely isn't a comedy. It is a beautiful, deeply emotional drama about the relationship between a single father and his daughter and about ways they handle all the twists life brings. If you did not shed a single tear during this movie, please go to X-ray and check if you have a heart at all. Technically, it is not anything special, just average production, but the emotion it carries is priceless.

8,5/10
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6/10
Ready or not this is a flawed but touching film.
estebangonzalez1026 October 2013
"10 dollars for a cab could be the best investment of your life."

Is this film cheesy? Yes! Is it manipulative? Yes! Is it generic? Yes! But there is something about Instructions Not Included that captures the audience's heart and engages them. The film suffers from a rather weak and clichéd opening, but as the story progresses there are truly remarkable moments with some interesting twists along the way that may surprise you. We've seen this premise before in films like Game Plan where a playboy who is afraid of commitment gets his world rocked when he is left in charge of a child he didn't know existed. But this film takes some clever turns transforming this into an above average dramedy that manages to touch your heart. The main themes of the film get across nicely. We are reminded that sometimes life can present challenges in our life that we may not be ready for, but they end up pushing us and we are forced to face our greatest fears for the sake of those we love. There are things we simply can't prepare for and we must learn to deal with those blows. These themes at times might feel a bit overloaded and at times the movie falls into melodramatic territory, but the chemistry between Derbez and Peralta elevate this film. The manipulative and over sentimental moments are eased through comedic relief. This is Eugenio Derbez's feature debut as a director and he delivers a touching family friendly film. He is one of the best known comedians in Latin America for his TV sketches (La Familia P. Luche), and at times the film feels like one. Some of the sketches work really well and others just don't belong here. That is what ultimately hurts the film as a whole, but the sketches are held together by the chemistry between the two leads. Derbez also is great with his play on words, and unfortunately a lot of those elements are lost in the translation, but Spanish speaking audiences will appreciate those moments more.

Valentin (Eugenio Derbez) has always been afraid of mostly everything in life, ranging from small things such as spiders and heights to big things such as commitment. He seems to be living a pretty comfortable life as Acapulco's playboy, but his life takes an unexpected turn when one of his casual encounters comes knocking at his door a couple of years later. Julie (Jessica Lindsey), a former fling he barely remembers, introduces Valentin to his baby daughter and asks him to hold the baby while she returns to pay the cab. Julie never returns, and Valentin is left clueless as to how to care for the baby. Remembering she is from Los Angeles he makes the trip hoping to find her there and return the baby, but as expected he never finds her. Valentin spends the next six years raising his daughter Maggie (Loreto Peralta) in Los Angeles after landing a job as a Hollywood stunt men thanks to a casual encounter with film producer Frank Ryan (Daniel Raymont) who sees how Valentin leaps from the 8th floor of a hotel suit to save his baby from drowning in a pool. Maggie shakes Valentin's world as she becomes the center of his life as he completely spoils her and tells her stories about her mother's heroics across the globe saving the planet. But Valentin is faced with yet another challenge when out of nowhere Julie shows up to meet her daughter now that she feels ready to be a part of her life.

The first 15 minutes of the film feel completely formulaic and clichéd. You expect to know where the movie is heading, and perhaps you might, but there are some interesting twists and shifts of tone that take place that raise the bar for an otherwise below average film. Derbez and Peralta's father and daughter relationship lifts this film thanks to their excellent chemistry. Peralta is a small force and has an on screen charisma and likability, she plays off Eugenio Derbez extremely well. As I mentioned before, the film feels more like a bunch of sketches put together rather than a complete movie, and that is what brings the film down at times. Some of the characters that are introduced during these moments are underdeveloped and we could have been better off without them since the film feels overlong at times. The scenes with the neighbor, played by Karla Souza (from Nosotros los Nobles) don't work at all since the "plumbing" jokes are old and something we have seen before in his TV sketches. The same could be said for Sammy Perez who has worked with Derbez in TV before and is playing the same character. Fans of Derbez might enjoy these small touches, but for international audiences this could have been left out. This is a sweet charming film with a lot of heart that makes for an entertaining viewing with the family. It has many flaws, but at the end I felt it was rather effective. If you don't like being emotionally manipulated than you might not want to see this, but otherwise I would definitely recommend Instructions Not Included (No Se Aceptan Devoluciones).
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8/10
First classmovie about father and daughter...!!!
kamalbeeee2 August 2020
I can feel this movie justvby watching review itself.. Definitely i want to watch whole movie... The movie talks about relationship between father and daughter..the script was amazing even its a drama genre.. Few twists werent expected one...
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7/10
An emotionally fulfilling tearjerker with comedic elements
brchthethird14 November 2014
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED is a heartwarming story about love and what it means to be family, especially when it doesn't exactly look like what you'd expect. I haven't watched too many Spanish-language films, but for the most part I haven't been disappointed. This falls right in line with the others. Eugenio Derbez directed and starred in this, and the best part of this movie was the chemistry between him and his on screen daughter, played by Loreto Peralta. The relationship they portrayed was very real, believable and touching. There was also lots of humor, even though the movie isn't a straight comedy (the movie was slightly mis-marketed). For the most part the performances are OK, with Eugenio Derbez being the standout. Loreto Peralta also gave quite a good performance for a child actor, although her Spanish delivery was better than her English delivery. Still, despite so much to recommend about this picture there are a few missteps along the way. For one, the pacing is off in some parts and the movie goes on a little too long, though it never quite wears out its welcome. There is a sequence/plot point late in the movie that could have been omitted. Also, at some points it seems like they are trying too hard to be sentimental. However, there is one surprise (which I won't spoil)) that is hinted at early on, but the reveal still caught me off-guard. The movie also ends rather abruptly shortly after this point, which was kind of odd. Still, I challenge anyone watching this to not be moved in some way. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this film and see no reason why any serious movie-goer wouldn't get some enjoyment out of it as well.
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8/10
Fine comedy, amateurish at times, but with a downbeat ending
Andy-29625 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Entertaining Mexican comedy about an irresponsible Acapulco playboy slacker (Eugenio Derbez, who also directed), sleeping each night with a different woman, who one day sees a former US blonde paramour named Julie (Jessica Lindsey) arrive at his house bringing along her baby daughter called Maggie that she claims is their child. She flees instantly (after asking him 10 dollars for the taxi, a gag repeated several times in the film), leaving the daughter to him. He goes to the US with the baby in order to find her mother. He is unable to find her but he settles in LA with his daughter (whom we see grow up to become a cute 7 years old blonde played by Loreto Peralta) finding a job as a stunt double and becoming an unusual but loving dad. Eventually, more than half ways into the film, the also irresponsible Julie returns to fetch Maggie and the movie turns into a comedic Kramer vs Kramer. And the ending, unfortunately, goes completely against the tone of the rest of the movie, it looks gratuitous and it ruins an otherwise fine (if sometimes amateurish) comedy.
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9/10
Funny and heartfelt
mitsubishizero4 February 2021
Eugenio Derbez directed, produced, write and starred in this decent film. It's funny, heartfelt and can be enjoyed whether you speak Spanish or not. He plays a father trying to be better than his. After discovering he has a daughter, he does what he can to ensure she has a good life.

I liked this movie. It had some pretty funny moments. Derbez's a natural when it comes to acting and writing. I think this movie showcases his talents pretty well. It's also a good movie for anyone wanting to learn Spanish. If you want a good dramedy this's for you.
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9/10
Turn your intelligent, diversity-loving friends onto this little gem
socrates998 March 2014
I'm a sucker for kid, usually little girl, actors doing an amazing, totally unexpected job filling a major role. My brain immediately goes to looking for any signs of the adult who will eventually emerge from the precocious tyke. (Most often there are only hints.) The last time I was wowed was by the amazing Onata Aprile in 'What Maisie Knew'. I would have bet the farm I wouldn't see her like for decades, if ever.

But now comes Loreto Peralta playing Maggie in this touching, off-beat film from Mexico. This little girl is unforgettable and it makes me realize how much of a natural gift being a good film actor must be. The movie starts slow and doesn't seem very promising but as soon as Maggie appears, Eugenio Derbez and she make the movie a rare delight. He plays her at first reluctant father who is saddled with Maggie only because her mother can't cope with taking care of a baby. He goes to LA looking to return her to her mother and all becomes something of a fantasy that you nevertheless are not interested in having end.

This sounds rather simple and not very intriguing but the director and writers take this simple premise and create a little gem by adding some unconventional and charming elements that had me thinking this will surely be picked up for a Hollywood remake using name stars. Do yourself a favor and don't wait for that remake. This particular cast is quite good enough, and I refuse to believe they will be able to replace Ms Peralta adequately no matter which new young actress they find. Rent this and then give it a chance to grow on you.
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9/10
An AMAZINGLY heart- felt story with a twist you never see coming
tesswysko23 February 2020
This is a very sweet, fun story about a man raising the daughter that was dropped off at his door bye his ex girlfriend. He learns how to not only be a dad, but learns how to enrich his life and come up from nothing to be a world-renowned stuntman. Just as they think nothing could be in their way of happiness, two things come. First a diagnosis from the doctor, and second mom shows up.
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An unexpected visit changes two lives forever in Instructions Not Included
rgblakey30 August 2013
In a world of big budget blockbusters some of the best movies are the smaller independent films from all over the world. The latest Instructions Not Included is a Spanish/American film from writer, director, and star Eugenio Derbez. While he has made appearances in Jack and Jill with Adam Sandler and stole the TV show ROB with Rob Schneider he is already pretty huge in Mexico, this marks his first foray into directing but does he bring his usual comedy chops along with the ability to create a memorable film?

Instructions Not Included follows a resident playboy in Mexico whose life is thrown upside down when a former fling leaves a baby on his door step. He leaves Mexico for Los Angeles in hopes to find the baby's mother, but instead finds a new life as a successful stuntman and raises the girl for over six years. But when her mother returns it risks everything they have built together. This is one of those surprising films that really deliver way more than you may expect. Eugenio Derbez has crafted a great film mixed with plenty of humor blended perfectly with a heart-warming touching story. The film is partly in Spanish and partly in English, but blends both perfectly to create a film that works for not only both markets, but also for all audiences even if they don't like subtitled films. Derbez has everything needed to lead this film with his already established ability with comedy, but carries the emotional aspect needed to bring the rest of this story together effectively. When making a film like this that involves a child actor to be just as integral to the story as the adult lead their performance can make or break the film. Thankfully Loreto Peralta is amazing and is able to hold her own alongside Derbez like a pro, despite this being her first role. Beyond being adorable and having the child innocence, she is able to bring the needed maturity to the role.

This is one of those small films that comes along and will really surprise you. While it has great performances, it lets the story lead the charge and knocks it out of the park. This is a comedy, but be warned this funny man has crafted a film that will not only tickle your funny bone, but also tug at your heart strings.
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10/10
Great movie...
steven_torrey2 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The movie starts out with Valentin's father teaching his boy to 'confront his fears'... The movie ends with the child dying. What is the worst fear a parent has: their child dying, their child kidnapped, their child murdered... Somehow, there is no way to confront those nightmare scenarios until they actually happen.

But I saw a movie about a man, taking care of a child who was not his to begin with. Julie thinks the child is his--or can only remember Valentin as the last sex partner she had--but subsequent DNA shows him not to be the biological father.

To raise his daughter, Maggie (played by Loreto Peralta) Valentin becomes a Hollywood stuntman, and Maggie acting as his coach and trouble shooter, reviving him when he faints from doing the stunt. And Loreto Peralta as 6 year old Maggie is a real scene stealer.

Well, Julie decides now after six years old, she wants custody of the now six year old girl and shows up.

Sadly, the child has some sort of (undisclosed) congenital birth defect and is soon to die. Valentin knows this but he does not wish to share this knowledge with Julie.

The movie ends with Maggie, Valentin, and Julie on a Mexican beach, and Maggie dies in Valentin's arms. Essentially, Valentin had fallen in love with a stranger's child, Valentin had taken responsibility for a stranger's child. Add one more fear--being involved in some kind of cosmic dupe.

The movie went way beyond the expectations for "Little Miss Sunshine"-- crotchety old man takes care of cute tike. It ended up challenging our notions of what it means to take care of another's child, what it means to fall in love with a stranger.

I gave it ten stars for asking this ultimate question.
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9/10
A must see
jimvandemoter-5023611 August 2019
Totally unexpected gem. It went places I didn't expect. At two hours it takes it's time getting there, but it's worth it.
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9/10
Watched it 2x; heart-warming story of a father-daughter love; great plot; some twists; strong ending; good acting; some nice comedy
nahumthebest10 July 2020
100% spoiler-free.

57% on RT. 7.5 on IMDB. 95% of google users liked this movie. $5M budget; $100.5M box office.

I just re-watched it. I cannot believe I had forgotten the ending.

Eugenio Derbez did great: as an actor, as a director, and as a writer. I am glad this movie did really well financially. I am a native Spanish speaker so I was able to enjoy his very distinctive, unique, and unmistakeable comedy.

Loreto Peralta - I think she did good at 9 yrs. of age. It bothered me a bit in the film we are supposed to believe she is 6 yrs. old. I am personally very critical of actors and I have to say that she did well. Cannot believe Eugenio found her on twitter and picked her exactly for her looks. Her Spanish & English were perfect too.

The rest of the cast did fine. The Johnny Depp fake should have tried a little harder though.

Comedy - the comedy is arguably single-handedly delivered by Eugenio Derbez. His comedy is classical comedy he has been delivering for decades. I grew up watching his comedy shows so I was already familiar with his style of comedy. And the thing about Derbez is that it does not matter how many times you see him be funny, it never gets old. I hope those non-Spanish speakers who did not grow up watching him on TV can UNDERSTAND his comedy and appreciate it.

Plot (no spoilers) - great plot overall. There were at least three twists and the final twist was a shocker. I would love it if this plot was taken up by Hollywood and a re-make was made because the shocking twist in this film was so sudden and it although it definitely had an emotional impact on the viewer, it could have been even more powerful had it been introduced sooner or more eloquently. The very final scene also at first seems fine, but later when you think about it you realize that the final scene could have been a lot better. The plot had also little things here and there that were not properly written, which are not even worth mentioning but it made the film imperfect.

Conclusion: overall, this is a really cool movie with a great plot with several twists and great performances by Eugenio Derbez and Loreto Peralta. The ending is strong, but could have been stronger.
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8/10
Disgustingly Charming
hazysistersunshine3310 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie simply charmed the pants off of me. I laughed and cried. It just ran the whole gamut of emotions. It was such a simple yet effective script. Plays kind of a ladies man who has sex with woman after woman and eventually get one pregnant. She dumps the child with him and he falls in love. I don't think this is t much of a spoiler because it happens in the first 20 minutes of the movie and you see it all coming a mile away. The rest of the movie is what counts. I don't want stay to much, but the father and daughter's relationship is so perfect. I've always been so impressed with Mexican made movies. They manage to be simple and profound at the same time. Thought provoking without going completely over my head. A lot of times they're a little depressing though.
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8/10
Worth to spend those 10 dollars and worth to spend 2 hours watching this film
ggcarbone2 September 2020
Beautiful film, with nice touches of humour, good acting, the plot is interesting and keep you want to see more, I'm the guy that see an 2 hours film in probably 2 or 3 parts, I did watch the whole film at once. Very, very, very moving at the end, so be prepared. "Instructions were included" in this comment, again, be prepared. ;)
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Well worth it even if you don't speak Spanish.
AdultAudienceMember31 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It wasn't until the beginning credits rolled that the wife and I realized that this movie is mostly in Spanish with English subtitles. We hadn't noticed that here in a very wealthy Dallas burb, we were two of the very few gringos in the room. We decided to stay. Glad we did. Great movie. Great acting. This is not Cantiflas nor is it some of the really stupid stuff you see on Spanish TV.

This is not Three Men and a Baby or some piece of Adam Sandler poop. This is a great treatment of the plot of a single guy who finds himself in the possession of his illegitimate baby daughter.

No clichés. No Hollywood stupid. Just good acting in this dramedy.

I don't get the low rating. The theater was packed and people were standing in line for the next showing. We are glad we stayed.
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6/10
Decent family movie but twisted in a small way
thenekassyni16 January 2014
Lead actor is good and so is the daughter. There are a few scenes where the chemistry is awkward but for the most part they are a good match. The limited CGI is just OK as the movie doesn't really require it. There is a twist to the story and you won't find this out til much later in the film which leads to the ending. It is touching and surprising.

The low rating is actually for the premise of how the mother left the kid. The mother, in short, is a whore. She used the father, she used and abandon the kid, she betrayed everything the father and daughter had by taking them to court and making them both look like criminals. The only problem is that the movie does not depict her in any "bad" fashion and I think this does the film little credit. At least some sort of explanation should have been made. But even if there was, what she did throughout the movie was despicable. At least at the end she "had" to let go of her hate and enjoy the time. To me, this does not make up for what she had done throughout the movie.

Whore is much too nice of a word for the mother. I highly recommend viewers consider this aspect of the story as the movie does not do it justice.
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10/10
If I could give this more than 10 stars I would
aharon-izraeli27 October 2019
Just watch it, you won't be sorry and nothing I can say would do justice to how great this movie is.
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10/10
Don;t judge a book by it's cover, this is the best film I've seen this year!!
santiagonunez165 September 2013
I first saw this advertised as a trailer for Grown Ups 2 and thought this was going to be the latino Big Daddy. Afterall, this is the same guy who was in Jack and Jill as the gardener in that lame Sandler movie from 2011. I caught this movie as an advanced show and must say I was very surprised. The humor was fun but believable, and this movie has something few comedies do today---it has a heart. The story is simple, a play boy finds out he has a daughter and is left to raise her when the mother-who was a one time fling-abandons her at his doorstep. During the first six years of her life we see him grow from a selfish slacker to a responsible dad. Eventually, the father/daughter find themselves living in the US where dad is now a Hollywood stuntman--in a very funny bit--with his daughter as his coach and best friend. As you would expect, mom comes back and this is where the story gets serious. You might think you have seen this before but trust me, you haven't as there are so many twists and turns to surprise even the most cynical movie critic. what I enjoyed most about this film is the humanity in the story, it was believable, unlike the juvenile crap of the latest Sandler/Ferrell crap. This movie received a standing ovation from a packed theatre. Don't judge a book by it's cover, this is the best film I've seen this year.
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10/10
One of the best films made in Mexico
guillermoarriolae12 August 2019
This is an amazing movie, really impressed, director, editor, actors, etc, and the story/script is superb
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10/10
Great job of Derbez!!!!
jabrahammendez30 August 2013
I just came back from seeing the movie of Eugenio Derbez" Instructions not Included ", and the truth is, it's great!! Excellent performance from Derbez and the little girl. It's one of those movies that you go out happy to have seen! Congratulations to Derbez, great job! Currently the Mexican films are giving very pleasant surprises for the audience, which in many times have not believed in the talent and scope of this new generation of filmmakers, this movie is going to win many awards and you will see that. At first I thought I would see a movie more than the classic that the mother will take away the kids from the father but no, this story is amazing. Actions and measures are great! I love this movie!!!!
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10/10
Title is misleading it should be: A Father & Daughter's Love
fireflypsngr28 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was written, directed and stars Eugenio Derbez and it's quite simply brilliant.

Instruction Not Included + the single bachelor and a baby seems like a set up for a slapstick comedy of errors.

This movie is so far from that. It is a beautiful story of the love between a father and his daughter. It is poignant, deep and absolutely beautiful story. It is well made and emotionally powerful. It is also incredibly sweet.

This movie deserved at least an Oscar nomination. I believe nobody from the Academy of Motion Pictures even watched this movie. They thought it was something else entirely. They were wrong this movie is brilliant and beautiful. Bravo Eugenio Derbez.

Do yourself a favor and watch it on Netflix. Be ready for an experience that will leave a mark.
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9/10
Review of movie?
mufa196726 January 2020
Hit me like train. Just like true life, live and fight, small and big fights. If you don't appreciate every given moment, the life will ruin you. Get two xanax and prepare yourself to wipe eyes or get hart attack kipping it in.
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10/10
One of the best movies I have seen in all times
mgarciber29 March 2014
I have to start by saying I am Hispanic, but do not enjoy Spanish movies unless they are outstanding. Actually the only good Spanish movies I have ever seen are from Guillermo Del Toro with " Pans Laberynth and the orphan. But this movie made me remember about the movie " Life is Beautiful/ La vida es bella".

It has humor and it is so touching. This movie makes you cry, laugh and it leaves a beautiful message at the end of all the fears we have in life and how to win the battle of life. I thought the little girl and Derbez were outstanding. At the beginning when I start seeing the movie I was like " What joke of a movie is this". But once the scenes of the little girl come in while she is potty trained, it catches me from that moment until the end.

This is not a movie for Spanish people only, it is a movie for English speakers too. As I said, it is not for the jokes it is for the message it has and for the feeling you have once left the theater. It is one of those movies that leave you thinking like for a week. I even called some family members in my country in Colombia and told them " Hey guys you have to go see this".

You will not regret seeing this movie, it is worth the 2 hours it takes.
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