Recovering One’s Salsa Mojo
Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones,
Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman,
Ian McShane, Kayvan Novak,
Rory Kinnear, Alexandra Roach,
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Millennium Films/Entertainment
Director: James Griffiths
Executive Producer: Matthew Justice, Nick Frost,
Rachael Prior, Olivier
Courson, Jenny Borgars, Danny
Perkins, Tessa Ross
Producer: Nira Park, James Biddle
Writer: Jon Brown
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Phone: (416) 646-2400
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The movie opens with an overweight man named Bruce Garrett telling how his budding salsa career ended in 1987 when he was only 13. On his way to the UK Junior Salsa Championship with his sister, some young bullies attack Bruce and humiliate him, and he tells his coach that salsa is for sissies. As a result, Bruce loses confidence in himself and begins to put on weight.
Twenty-two years later, Bruce is an unloved, white collar worker, trapped in a downward spiral of self-pity, regret, and defeatism. Only his pretty and smart (and thin) new American boss, Julia, gives him reason to live. However, she’s out of his league, even though she clearly enjoys his sense of humor.
When Bruce discovers Julia has a passion for salsa dancing, he decides the only way he can get the girl, and defeat his rival, Dean, is by going back to his salsa coach and re-discover his salsa passion. Will Bruce be able to regain his confidence and recapture his salsa magic? How can Bruce stop his rival from taking advantage of his lack of confidence and woo Julia away from him forever?
CUBAN FURY has a perfect romantic comedy plot. The story structure is on target. A completely engaging and dance-worthy performance by Nick Frost as the sadsack hero completes the picture, as does his talented supporting cast led by Rashida Jones as Julia, the object of the hero’s affection. Viewers will really want to root for Bruce to get the girl. Chris O’Dowd and Ian McShane are hilarious as the annoying, conceited rival and the grumpy, passionate coach, as is Kayvan Novak as a crazy homosexual salsa dancer from Eastern Europe who befriends Bruce. As a result, the movie delivers a funny, touching, and inspiring story, with some very entertaining dancing scenes.
All that said, CUBAN FURY puts a damper on everything by including plenty gratuitous R-rated foul language. This movie could have been rated PG-13, or even PG, and attracted a much wider audience. In fact, according to The Numbers website, PG-rated movies have averaged two and one-half times more money at the American box office than R-rated movies since 1995, $31.59 million per movie versus only $12.40 million per movie (http://www.the-numbers.com/market/mpaa-ratings). Also, MOVIEGUIDE®’s own statistics over the years show that R-rated movies are much less likely to make it into the Top 10 or Top 25 Movies Overseas and on Home Video.
Because of all the foul language, some lewd jokes and references, and a homosexual character, CUBAN FURY warrants extreme caution, especially for media-wise viewers and their families.
CUBAN FURY has a perfect romantic comedy plot. The story structure is excellent. A completely engaging and dance-worthy performance by Nick Frost as the sadsack hero completes the picture. As a result, CUBAN FURY delivers a funny, touching and inspiring story, with some very entertaining dancing scenes. Sadly, CUBAN FURY puts a damper on everything by including plenty of gratuitous foul language. Because of the foul language, some brief lewd jokes, and a homosexual character, CUBAN FURY warrants extreme caution, especially for media-wise viewers and their families.