Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Andrea & Lorenzo [2015]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
Official Website

Andrea & Lorenzo [2015] (written and directed by Rolando D'Lugo [IMDb]) is a CHEERFUL truly "small indie" ROMANTIC COMEDY from PUERTO RICO that played recently at the 32nd (2016) Chicago Latino Film Festival.
The film's writer/director/one of its leads, Rolando D'Lugo, who's also Puerto Rican rock musician (and is responsible for the film's honestly quite _impressive_ sound track) and teaches media studies in Puerto Rico, was present to take questions at the end of the screening.  He said that the film will be released in theaters in Puerto Rico at the end of April 2016 and is presently negotiating with various Latino television channels to have it play on TV across Latin America.  Eventually the film should become available for rental / streaming on NetFlix. (I suggested that he also try to make it available through iTunes and/or Amazon Instant Video)

The film tells the story of Andrea (played by Joa Tous) and Lorenzo (played by Rolando D'Lugo) introduced to us as a young Puerto Rican college age couple, she studying writing, he a somewhat brooding musician, each facing some challenges to their dreams:

Andrea's being told that her writing is really "quite average" and if she still really wants to make a living in writing that she really ought to start looking into "writing copy" for one or another "glossy entertainment magazine."  Sigh, Frida [wikip] poster in her room notwithstanding, her Prof's telling her that she's _not_ going to be the next "Gabo" (Gabriel García Márquez) [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn].

Lorenzo, on the other hand, is not getting anywhere with his music either.  Andrea would like him to just take a job in her father's warehouse.  Instead, Lorenzo would like to pick-up-sticks and go down to Argentina, where "it's another world" and where he believes he has a much better shot to get his rock career going.  Lorenzo asks Andrea to come with him.  Shaking her head, she says no.  And so ... the two break up.

... Skip to 5 years later.  Andrea's finds herself working for / increasingly successful at "an entertainment magazine" called "Chica Ye" and Lorenzo finds himself coming back to Puerto Rico in triumph as the lead guitarist for a Latino rock band called "Agua Luna."  And guess who Andrea's boss wants Andrea to follow / interview during week-long several stop tour of the Island?

Much of course ensues ... ;-)

A truly charming aspect of this RomCom is that since the cast is mostly composed of (college) student actors, they actually look their parts.  (Often American RomComs are filled with far more professional actors but also significantly older than the characters they're asked to play).

Rolando D'Lugo does play the "brooding musician" quite well and the songs played in the film are actually his own. 

Then Joa Tous plays her role as Andrea quite authentically and with an endearing and often spot-on comic touch (seriously, her timing was very good).  Her coworkers / friends Alicia, Cynthia and Mario (played by Sandra Ortiz, Blanca Lissette Cruz and Edwin Yumar respectively) look and sound like people that Andrea would hang around.  Older characters, like Andrea's boss Aurelio (played by Orlando Rodríguez), Lorenzo's manager Martín (played by William Piedra) and even a priest (played by Jacobo Morales) were again both well cast and well (authentically) played.

 My one complaint would be that even though the movie was made in a manner that it could easily play standard TV (basically PG-13), nevertheless the two main characters do end-up in bed several times during the course of the film.  It's all done in a manner that would certainly (though _technically_) "pass the censors."   HOWEVER, Latino parents of younger teens may not be particularly happy with this aspect of the film which seems to take it for granted that young 20-somethings "in love" are going to sleep with each other even if they're not married or when marriage is not even anywhere near the table.

I mention this criticism as one who otherwise really liked the film's generally light / youthful outlook.

Otherwise, honestly very, very good job!  And honestly best wishes for your futures!

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