5 Ways to Prep: How to Be a Latin Lover

By George Rose

April 27, 2017

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave

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3) Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

When I started preparing for this article and realized I hadn’t seen many Mexican/Spanish movies, I Google-d “best Latin movies” and found several lists. On those lists, some as big as thirty, I only recognized maybe five and hadn’t seen any. Some include Biutiful (2010) starring Javier Bardem, City of God (2002) starring nobody you know, and Pan’s Labyrinth directed by my man Guillermo del Toro. What these movies have in common is that they were all awards contenders during their respective Oscar seasons, mostly in the foreign film categories. What I also learned is that, outside of the occasional Latin movie that gains Oscar attention, there isn’t much that’s comes from the South that has been mainstream enough to get my attention or that of the masses.

Now, I have built my entire love for Guillermo del Toro around the frenzy surrounding Pan’s Labyrinth upon its release. It was so widely acclaimed and praised for its visual prowess that it was hard to ignore and yet I never saw it because I usually don’t like reading subtitles. However, when it was released I learned that Guillermo was one to watch and since then I have followed his career and loved every second of it. That was, until this article. I finally decided to watch this movie and OH MY GOD IT’S AMAZING!

Pan’s Labyrinth is set in post-Civil War Spain and is about a young girl named Ofelia. Her mother is pregnant with her army captain step-father’s baby and she must survive this family dynamic as the military outpost they are staying at must survive the nearby rebellion. Normally I don’t like movies about war but that’s all going on in the background as Ofelia learns she is the long, lost spiritual daughter of the king of the underworld and she must battle through three trials before she can reclaim her throne. Given its modest budget, the production value and monster make-up effects are beyond top-notch, helping the movie win three Academy Awards (Cinematography, Art Direction and Makeup). It’s a modern day Mexican-Spanish fairy tale, akin to Alice and Wonderland, and comes with the highest of recommendations from me. Seriously, it might be the best $3.99 I’ve spent on an OnDemand rental.


4) Instructions Not Included (2013)

I remember a few years back there was a hit Spanish movie that also had a yellow poster with red lettering. It took some Google searching but then I found it. Instructions Not Included was one of those rare foreign films that struck a chord with American audiences (or, rather, the Latin audience that lives in America) and made a pretty penny. I never saw the movie but when I looked it up on IMDB, I learned that the star of Latin Lover is also the star AND director of Instructions Not Included. This makes it a great recommendation for how to prepare for Latin Lover and a movie I wish I had more time to see before writing this article.

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