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7/10
A crazy but thoroughly enjoyable ride.
13 October 2013
After the death of his wife, a promising singer's career is put on hold as he tries to cope with the loss and take care of his young daughter, Maria. Depressed and not believing he is doing enough for his daughter, Alejandro (Jaime Camil) decides to send her to her grandparents in the United States. Unfortunately when he goes to get a visa at the US Embassy his application is rejected by an unsympathetic embassy employee, Rachel (Laura Ramsey), who meticulously follows the rules for granting visas, leaving Alejandro out in the cold. Bitter, Alejandro blames Rachel, who he complains 'wouldn't even look at him,' for all his troubles.

Rachel, who is about to accept a promotion to a position in London, is shocked when her colleagues throw her a going away party that night. With his career in the dumpster, Alejandro is relegated to playing in a mariachi band, and is shocked when he finds himself playing for Rachel at the going away party. Inspired by the chance meeting he decides he's been given a second chance to get his visa, so he concocts a complicated plan to gain Rachel's favor.

Although Alejandro's scheme is a bit over the top, he takes Rachel on such an enchanting ride that she can't help but rethink her feelings about Mexico and Alejandro. Although Rachel is rather naive for a diplomat, she is refreshingly honest and trusting which paints her as anything but a cold-hearted American. Strong performances by Jaime Camil, Laura Ramsey and Omar Shaparro brought this heart-warming romantic comedy to life and made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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Doonby (2013)
7/10
Engaging characters, a clever plot, and a shocking revelation make Doonby a must see.
11 March 2012
I'd seen just about every movie that was currently running and my choice was between Doonby and Wanderlust. I'd heard nothing about Doonby and didn't find much on-line, so I went with Jennifer Aniston. Can't lose, right? Well, what a mistake. Fortunately, I got another chance to go to the movies and finally did see Doonby. Wow! I was pleasantly surprised how quickly the story grabbed me. The characters were interesting and obviously something was going on beneath the surface that kept me wide awake anxious to find out what it was.

I go to just about every movie that comes out, and I was, frankly, expecting the worst since I'd heard nothing about this movie anywhere. But the cinematography was excellent, the acting first-rate (well, a few of the actors were a little amateurish but you'd expect that in a low budget film), and the script ingenious. I left the movie feeling emotionally charged and excited---definitely a movie that is well worth seeing.
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6/10
Fine performances and great music make this well-worn plot worth seeing.
16 January 2011
Gwyneth Paltrow's performance was superb as usual but I really was impressed by Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester. Hedlund played Beau Hutton who is every woman's dream--a hunk who cares more about the people in his life than his own fame and fortune. Meester plays Chiles Stanton, a beautiful and very talented singer who's career has suffered due to her serious insecurities. Together they have great chemistry and I found myself routing for them more than Kelly Canter. It was a pretty predictable plot and I'm getting a little tired of stories about actors coming our of rehab, but overall it was a very entertaining and enjoyable movie particularly if you like great country music.
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