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DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

PUERTO RICANS IN PARIS (director/writer: Ian Edelman; screenwriter: Neel Shah; cinematographer: Damian Acevedo; editor: Justin Krohn; music: Jonathan Sadoff; cast: Frederic Anscombre (Vincent), Luis Guzmán (Luis), Edgar Garcia (Eddie), Rosario Dawson (Vanessa), Rosie Perez (Gloria), Ravi Patel (Hassan), Alice Taglioni (Colette), Miriam Shor (Sargent Nora); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Joseph Zolfo; Focus World; 2015)

"Lacks the comedy it craves."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The first-time director and co-writer Ian Edelm ineptly shoots this low-brow 'fish-out-of-water' fluff 'buddy and road' movie. It lacks the comedy it craves The jokes are hard to find in either country featured. It was filmed in Prague as a substitute for Paris.

Veteran NYPD partner undercover detectives, the motormouth Luis (
Luis Guzmán) and the laid-back Eddie (Edgar Garcia), his brother-in-law, are the potbellied cops assigned to Lower Manhattan tracking down those who peddle knock-off upscale designer products. They are asked to do their cop thing in Paris by visiting French fashion owners — the designer Colette (Alice Taglioni) and her business associate Vincent (Frédéric Anscombre) — because they are threatened by a blackmailer who sent her a ransom note after stealing the designer's prototype handbag and threatens to flood the market with cheap knockoffs. The idea of going on a working-vacation from their taxing women sounds good, so they accept the free flight offer. Gloria (Rosie Perez) is the volatile wife of Luis, while Vanessa (Rosario Dawson) is the frustrated girlfriend of Eddie's who has grown irritable that he still hasn't married her.

In an informal investigation in Paris, suspecting it's an inside job, the boys unsuccessfully question suspects while wearing various disguises. In their spare time they party, whereby Luis acts like a  pig making passes at the French beauties, while the sensitive Eddie acts reserved even as Collette flirts with him as she gives him a tour of Paris. 

The mysterious crime is resolved in a swift but unconvincing way at the climax, and the boys return home to face their sweeties having learned life lessons abroad. The love story lacks charm, the comedy lacks enough jokes and the crime story was a bummer. This film doesn't travel well and could use a different screenplay, a different director and different stars.

REVIEWED ON 2/5/2017       GRADE: C-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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