Commentary: Latinas Are Either Saints or Whores, According to New Movie

The movie started out well enough. There was a super embarrassing and consequently hysterical first scene where Ellie (Keaton) walks in on her ex-husband Don (De Niro) about to go down on his longterm girlfriend and her ex-best friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon) in the kitchen. After that, the funny stops.

What follows is an hour and a half of some of the worst racism against Latinos that I have ever seen in a movie.

The plot revolves around the upcoming wedding of Alejandro (British actor Ben Barnes, because apparently Hollywood doesn’t think there are any Latino actors who speak non-accented English)—a Colombian-born adopted son of divorcees Don and Ellie—and Missy (Amanda Seyfried), whose parents are borderline racist. Complications arise when Al (as he prefers to be called) finds out that his super Catholic, conservative biological mom (Patricia Rae) is coming to his wedding. Apparently she feels that divorce is a sin, and so he begs his adoptive parents to pretend that they’re still married.

Categorizing bio mom Madonna (did they SERIOUSLY name her that?!) as someone who can’t possibly understand that two people’s divorce is none of her business and simply be proud of her Harvard graduate son is absolutely ridiculous. Did Hollywood not get the memo that Latinos are not crazy religious fanatics? Apparently not.

In an obscene effort to bring some “balance” to the movie, writer/director Justin Zackham made Al’s little sister, Nuria, (Ana Ayora) a crazy oversexualized will-jump-pretty-much-anyone vixen.

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Irina Gonzalez, Digital Audience Development Manager

Irina Gonzalez is the Digital Audience Development Manager for Latina.com and The Latin Kitchen, where she oversees social media, content partnerships, writes and edits, and more. An NYC-based journalist, web editor, and food writer, she started her career with an internship at Latina magazine while receiving her bachelor’s at New York University. Her work has appeared in Time Out New York, MamasLatinas.com, FamilyCircle.com, TheFrisky.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, and more. When she’s not checking out the latest taco restaurant in New York City, scouring for the best tapas in Barcelona, or dreaming of visiting Alex Atala’s restaurant in Brazil, she’s blogging about her favorite recipes, healthy eating tips and maintaining her 100 pound weight loss on HealthyLatinFood.com.

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