Movie Reviews - Featured Films » Independent Film Guide - I

Like It Like That I Movie Review

lisette chino martin velez

I Like It Like That is not an indie, but deserves inclusion here as the first feature written and directed by a black woman (Darnell Martin) for a major studio (Hail Columbia!) in Hollywood. There are only two well-known stars in it, Griffin Dunne as Stephen Price, a recording industry executive, and Rita Moreno as Rosario Linares, a nagging mother-in-law. The best performances in the movie are given by little-known actors, mainly Lauren Velez as the female protagonist, Lisette Linares. Lisette and her yucky husband, Chino (Jon Seda), have three kids (Tomas Melly as Li'l Chino, Desiree Casado as Minnie, and Isaiah Garcia as Pee Wee). Chino is busted for stealing a stereo and Lisette has to get a job FAST. Price hires her as his assistant, but soon the neighborhood is gossiping that Lisette only got the job because she's having sex with him. When Chino is out of jail and hears the false gossip, he has sex with neighborhood girl Magdalena Soto (Lisa Vidal). By this point, you may wonder why Lisette doesn't leave Chino. (I sure the hell would!) Life, this film suggests, doesn't work that way. Although Martin's sympathy is clearly with Lisette, she has a humorous take on the problems faced by the rest of the Linares clan, including Lisette's transsexual brother, Alexis (Jesse Borrego). But the humor renders tolerable stuff that really shouldn't be, not for Lisette, and certainly not for her kids. Nonetheless, it's a promising cinematic start for Martin and for Velez.

1994 (R) 106m/C Lauren Velez, Jon Seda, Lisa Vidal, Jesse Borrego, Griffin Dunne, Rita Moreno, Tomas Melly, Desiree Casado, Isaiah Garcia; D: Darnell Martin; W: Darnell Martin; C: Alexander Grusynski; M: Sergio George. Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘95: Best Actor (Seda), Best Actress (Velez), Best Cinematography, Best First Feature. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

Love You Not I Love You I Movie Review [next] [back] Just Wasn't Made for These Times I Movie Review

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or