Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Gold Brooch (orig. Broche de Oro) [2012]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing

The Gold Brooch (orig. Broche de Oro) [2012] (screenplay and directed by Raúl Marchand Sánchez) is a lovely Spanish language / English subtitled family-oriented comedy from Puerto Rico that has enjoyed impressive popular success "on the island" (playing in theaters there now for 7 months and counting since its release in Sept 2012).  The film has recently played as part of the 29th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival.

The story is about the relationships existing in a multi-generational family in Puerto Rico with the middle class, already moderately successful father, Alberto Medina (played by Carlos Esteban Fonseca) wishing to move his family to Orlando, Florida (the Orlando area becoming very much to Puerto Rican immigrants to the mainland what Miami has become to Cuban immigrants) where he had gotten a promotion even at the cost of disrupting the life of his high school aged son Carlos (played by Luis Omar O'Farrill) who unbeknownst to Alberto has become a rather good surfer, and leaving his own aging father Rafael (played by Jacobo Morales) "solito" (alone) in a nice if somewhat regimented "old folks home" run rather amusingly by the (Catholic) "sisters." 

What to do?  Well a little miffed at the insensitivity of his dad who wanted him to stay at home and pack rather than participate in one last surfing tournament on the coast, Carlos conspires with his grandfather Rafael to take his father Alberto's car, pick-up Rafael along with two of Rafael's domino-playing buddies -- still "playboyish" Pablo Díaz (played by Diego de la Texera) and somewhat "hypochondriac" Anselmo Rodríguez (played by Adrian Garcia) -- and go to the surfing tournament anyway, stopping in the countryside along the way to visit the tierra (land) where Rafael grew up and Carlos' abuela (grandmother) was buried.

Much comedy, of course, ensues as not only Alberto but also the "Madre Superiora" (played by Marion Pabon) from the old folks home along with the "security guard" Norberto (played by Luis Raul) give chase after them.  Pablo runs into an old-flame Coco Galore (played by Sara Pastor) who it turns out was now running a beach-side watering-hole.  Anselmo, for his part, finds to his (and really everyone's surprise ;-) that he's evoked some kind of irresistible magnetism in Margarita (played by Carmen Nydia Velásquez) another widowed/alone owner of a small eating establishment near Rafael's hometown.  Finally, since this story is largely built around a "surfing tournament," Carlos finds himself in competition not only for a trophy but also for the affections of a sweet local girl named Sofia (played by Maria Coral Otero Soto) who's been the girlfriend of the previous champ Manolo (played by Willie Carrasco) but Manolo had been becoming something of an overbearing jerk...  Together, the "three old guys" (Rafael, Pablo and Enselmo) who really know next to nothing about surfing, but have lots of experience (and let's face it Pablo has probably far more than he should... ;-) with life,women and relationships become happy as "pie to help" Carlos and Sofia straighten things out in their still young lives.

It all makes for a lovely story.  Yes, it all has to come to a tear-filled (if also realistic) resolution.  And then as any good Puerto Rican family drama (or "dramedy") must do, it all ends "under a Flamboyan tree" ;-).

Good job folks, very good job!

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