Loco Love

In 1992, a new type of horror unleashed itself upon the world. His name was Gerardo, and he was a Latin rapper with the insipid song "Rico Suave." This was a song so annoying that people who loved it knew in a few years they would end up mocking it. What happened to Gerardo (last name Mejia) in the meantime? Few knew. Yet, here he is, and boy does he look short. It seems he's been in some movies no one has heard of (Somebody to Love, A Million to Juan), and now he's here, sporting a horribly fake looking moustache at the beginning of Loco Love. His rapping ability is just as questionable as his acting ability. Mejia does not have much of a screen presence, and the film slows down every time he has more than a few lines of dialogue at the same time. This is much more a forgettable vehicle for Laura Elena Harring, Willard, John Q.), albeit one she will probably wish was never on her resume.

Loco Love falls under the category of "ethnic romantic comedy." It's a dull romantic comedy, made duller by the inclusion culture clash between an uptight white man and a bitchy Mexican woman. Some of the characterizations of the Mexicans in the film are downright offensive, but the film is so vapid that one can overlook this. After all, it is equally offensive to some of the Caucasian characters. In fact, Loco Love, in it's own strange ways, even grows on the viewer a bit. Things center on Donald (Roy Werner, Live From Baghdad, Throttle), who owns a restaurant and is married to Barbara (Margaret Scarborough, Sunstorm, Five Wishes). However, she has a boyfriend and leaves Donald, and pulls financing out of the restaurant. Donald is something of a jerk, and Miguel is his gardener. Miguel wins the lottery and goes to tell Donald he quits.

Instead, seeing Donald's situation, he offers a compromise. Donald will marry Miguel's sister Catalina (Harring) and divorce her after one year, giving her citizenship, and Catalina, Miguel, and Miguel's family will live with Donald in his big house. In return, Miguel will provide funding for a new restaurant for Donald. See, Catalina is breathtakingly gorgeous, but also a major aggro case. She's managed to scare away all potential suitors. Donald agrees, and the predictable fireworks start. It's pretty amazing how easily screenwriter Steven Baer was able to incorporate stale stereotypes into the standard romantic comedy. Catalina and Donald instantly hate each other. Yet, both have good qualities.

Catalina is loyal, even though she knows the marriage is a sham. And despite the fact that Donald is usually a jerk, he's actually pretty nice on the inside. So before they realize it, Catalina and Donald are actually falling in love, and the restaurant is a huge success. Miguel, for reasons known only to director Bryan Lewis, decides that he hates this development, and does what he can to prevent it. There is a small meaningless subplot about Miguel dealing with the influx of money, but that seems nothing more than filler. Only because there is little else to the story, Barbara returns to throw the obligatory conflict into the burgeoning relationship. Loco Love continues on its merry way, and only Harring's incredible charisma is able to keep this film palatable.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 34 minutes, Rated PG for thematic elements, sensuality, and language.

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