Dave White
El Cantante Review

Dave's Rating:

1.5

… like Lopez is reading aloud from a biopic instruction manual.

Who's in It: Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez

The Basics: Sing, sing, sing, marijuana, sing, sing, sing, cocaine, sing, sing, sing, get yelled at by J.Lo, sing, heroin, sing, heroin, get yelled at by J.Lo, sing, heroin, heroin, heroin, heroin, AIDS, die.

What's the Deal? I liked it better when this was called Walk the Line, and at the end, the singer got to eat a bucket of fried chicken at a picnic. I know that they couldn't actually change the ending of salsa music legend Hector Lavoe's real life, because he really did die and all, but what I'm saying is that at least in Walk the Line, you were curious as to what was coming next. Here you just get Lopez explaining everything to you, like she's reading aloud from a biopic instruction manual.

When It's Good: When Mr. Anthony sings, and Mrs. Anthony dances. This doesn't happen quite enough for a movie called El Cantante (translation: The Singer).

Aging the J.Lo Way: Aka not aging much at all. It spans about four decades, so these two are meant to be dewy 20-year-olds, and Lopez is meant to be about 60 in the narration scenes. But instead of applying fake wrinkles to her face, they just shoot her in a blue-tinted black-and-white so that she ends up looking sort of ghosty. I chose to dwell on this rather than the sloppy period details, which are almost as thoughtless and wrong and mostly boil down to blue eye shadow, big-collared shirts and reel-to-reel tape machines in the background.

OK, There's One Other Thing That's Good: I'm only speaking for myself here, but I really enjoyed Lopez's arsenal of wigs and angry shrieks. You may not find these things very entertaining at all, but I take my pleasures where I can find them.

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