Puerto Ricans in Paris           review by Bobby Blakey

The always great Luis Guzman is one of those comedic actors who is always great, but just doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. His latest film, Puerto Ricans in Paris features a great supporting cast alongside him including Edgar Garcia, Rosario Dawson, and Rosie Perez but does it offer up anything to help it stand out or will it be a trip not worth taking?

 

Puerto Ricans in Paris follows detectives Luis Lopez and Eddie Garcia, childhood best friends, brother-in-laws, and partners in the New York Police Department Luxury Goods Recovery Unit, who are tasked with hunting down Canal Street's infamous bootleggers. They've been running through the streets of the Lower East side in search of fake Louis Vuitton for 20 years - long enough for them to be the best in the business. While their work mostly keeps them below 14th Street, a random visit from a celebrated French designer and her business partner set in motion a sequence of events that take them on a wild goose chase through the streets of Paris - from fashion parties to hipster nightclubs - in search of a stolen handbag. As the investigation deepens with no sign of the bag, the two best friends start to grow suspicious of everyone around them including each other. Despite a division of the police force like this existing, the story here is a bit silly, but you can put it to the side as the film isn’t even as much about the case as it is about these two guys discovering new things about themselves. There are a lot of missed chances to make this movie really funny, but instead they opted to go for a more dramatic comedy approach. They play up the fish out of water aspect a lot and those moments work but there is a bit of a disconnect because the film can’t seem to decide if it wants to be a comedy or a drama.

 

Thankfully this cast does a good job together, but sadly Dawson and Perez are sidelined the majority of the film. Guzman and Garcia are both great together and do elevate this fairly average script, but it never quite finds its footing to stand out as anything more than average at best. If you are a fan of Guzman like me then  this film is worth checking out and there is some fun to be had as well as the mystery they are trying to solve, so give it a try and decide for yourself.

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