Cinema Review: Puerto Ricans in Paris | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 23rd, 2021  

Puerto Ricans in Paris

Studio: Focus World
Directed by Ian Edelman

Jun 09, 2016 Web Exclusive
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Comedy is a hard genre to muddle through. Some jokes are certainly better than others, but ultimately you either think it’s funny or you don’t. And if you don’t, it can be excruciating. Puerto Ricans in Paris is an odd beast then, a broad culture clash comedy seemingly uninterested in making anyone laugh. Instead, Ian Edelman’s film is content to let Luis Guzmán and Edgar Garcia gad about the French capital with only a modicum of purpose. Odder still is that even without discernible jokes, or much in the way of plot, it’s not terrible.

Luis (Guzmán) and Eddie (Garcia) are New York City cops, experts at nailing fashion counterfeiters. Together with fellow officer Nora (Miriam Shor), Luis sets them up and Eddie knocks them down, literally. Just to add that little extra frisson of interest into the relationship, they’re also brothers-in-law, with Eddie married to Luis’ sister Gloria (an underused Rosie Perez).

The opening sees them nail a couple of dodgy characters, wheeze around the streets as neither man is in good shape, crack a few jokes about Bruno Mars and sexual escapades (separate topics), and then go home to wildly different personal lives. Eddie is a cash-strapped, forgetful family man with bills and kids. Luis thinks of himself as a player. Despite terrible fashion sense, even worse chat up lines and a physique that could do with some work, he still appears to have landed an on-off relationship with Vanessa (an also underused Rosario Dawson).

This is all in New York, only a small portion of the film. The majority unfolds in Paris when a fashion company implausibly hires the duo to track down a missing bag from top designer Colette (a not underused and impressive Alice Taglioni). The French cops are too slow apparently. Plus the French are all dicks. Luis adds that last part, setting the level Puerto Ricans in Paris aims for.

Across the Atlantic an investigation (sort of) happens, though it mostly seems to consist of blatant attempts to entrap beautiful women. They do this for a few hours before partying. Luis wants to score with hot French women, but in a hilarious twist, it’s trusty Eddie who becomes irresistible. A barely comprehensible sexual tension develops between him and Colette, much to Luis’ fury. That, and pretty much everything else provides cause for the two NYPD cops to bicker. It’s never actually funny but it’s strangely absorbing.

Puerto Ricans in Paris fails at most things it attempts. There are no laughs, the plot is a bore, and visiting Paris is just an excuse to wheel out postcard backdrops and attractive women. And yet Guzmán and Garcia are good together, somehow finding a rapport that seems impossible given the paucity of the material. It shouldn’t work and it doesn’t really work, but it’s still just about watchable. An odd beast indeed.

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Author rating: 4/10

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Kim
September 12th 2021
3:53am

Despite terrible fashion sense, even worse chat up lines and a physique that could do with some work, he still appears to have landed an on-off relationship with Vanessa (an also underused Rosario Dawson). Pro Chino Hills Concrete