Most people haven't heard of Raising Victor Vargas, even though it is one of the most uplifting and warming romantic comedies around. Its setting and characters may suggest otherwise, but Raising Victor Vargas is one of the most entertaining movies of the year.
Victor (played by Victor Rasuk) is a poor Latino (of Dominican Republic descent) in Brooklyn who, trying to crush rumors about him sleeping with an ugly fat girl finally attempts to hook up with the prettiest girl in the neighborhood, Judy (Judy Marte). She doesn't respond to him warmly, but he keeps trying, resorting to attempting to hook up her little brother with his little sister (Melonie Diaz). To make matters worse, his grandma (Altagracia Gusman) thinks that it is his fault that their family is falling apart.
The general misconception about this film is probably the same one that I had, that this would be a gritty, street smart drama with lots of sex and a little bit of violence. It's a shallow and stereotypical thought, I know, but there are plenty of movies like that. In fact, Raising Victor Vargas is warm and funny and has very little sex, no violence and only some language. Aside from the language, it is almost family friendly.
The film has good acting all around and a good script to back it up; there are many moments worth laughing over, and also some good drama. The teenage romance that goes on is intriguing because it is so realistic (meaning that it isn't some lust-filled drama but a sweet and awkward relationship starting from scratch), and the look at the family life is also well done. The grandmother is especially entertaining to listen to.
There are very few flaws, if any.
Raising Victor Vargas is a great date movie, and a great movie period.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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