Review: Puerto Ricans in Paris, D
Rated R, 82 minutes
The third-rate, badly executed and generally unfunny new comedy "Puerto Ricans in Paris" is bad enough to make both Puerto Ricans and Parisians upset. Directed and co-written by Ian Edelman of TV's "How to Make It in America" in an inauspicious feature film debut, it's the worst comedy I've seen this year. Two Puerto Rican NYPD detectives, Eddie (Edgar Garcia) and Luis (Luis Guzman) head to Paris to track down a rare, stolen handbag. As their investigation deepens with no sign of the bag, our two best friends start to grow suspicious of everyone around them - including each other. The sloppy, unfocused "Puerto Ricans in Paris" flounders from the get-go, in spite of the always likable Guzman, an amusing character actor who's been around for years in supporting roles and currently seen on TV's "Code Black." He's the only one with any real energy, but he can't do anything with the lame, unoriginal material, which is as thin as the material on any rip-off Coach or Gucci handbag, partly explaining why the film is a brisk 82 minutes, but even at that it feels like a stretch as these guys go from one uneven episode to the next. Guzman needs better material and also a better partner, as the awful Garcia, also in his feature debut, is in considerable need of acting lessons, as his wooden delivery really hurts Guzman's timing. I also really want to know how the producers convinced lovely, talented actresses Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez and French actress Alice Taglioni into this mess, as all three, especially Dawson and Perez in tiny parts, are utterly wasted. Dawson and Perez must've had bigger parts in the initial script, given the excessively choppy editing job; the last act in particular is really baffling when Taglioni's character comes literally charging in with wildly colored hair, with absolutely no explanation why. There's a lot in "Puerto Ricans in Paris" that isn't explained, namely why these Puerto Ricans are any different than any other NYPD cops who would've been assigned this case. I like Guzman, but I wish this was so much better. Stay away.