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Will Middle-Aged Latino Women Turn Out For "La Mujer"

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik April 12, 2006 at 10:33AM

Will Middle-Aged Latino Women Turn Out For "La Mujer"
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This Friday, Lionsgate plans its Latino attack: "La Mujer de mi hermano," starring Telenovela hottie Barbara Mori, is going out on 200 screens in 20 key markets, according to Variety, as "one of the largest openings for a Spanish-lingo pic aimed at U.S. Latino auds." Variety also inaccurately dubs the movie a "romantic comedy," which is totally wrong. Whatever's funny in this movie is unintentional.

A softcore, soapy melodrama about a woman's cold marriage (her husband, literally, has cold feet) and her steamy affair with the young artistic, loutish brother, La Mujer has enough plot holes, sweaty sex and cheesy revelations to please Telenovela-watchers. But I seriously doubt the movie is going to break out in the way Lionsgate is hoping: It feels like a languid art-film rather than torrid must-see cinema. If the movie is supposed to cater to the fantasy life of 40-ish Latino women, so be it -- but it's such a bore.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, the release is part of a multi-film collaboration with Florida-based production company Panamax Films to tap the Latino niche in the same way that the company has been able to go after African American audiences. La Mujer wouldn't be my first choice to launch the enterprise, but then again, Lionsgate has spun gold from dreck in the past (remember Crash?).