You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Perez Family

An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair's serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Cast:
Marisa Tomei Alfred Molina Anjelica Huston Chazz Palminteri Trini Alvarado Celia Cruz

An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair’s serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

Based on Christie Bell’s popular novel, adapted to the screen by Robin Swicord (Little Women), The Perez Family chronicles the entangled lives and romances of Cuban immigrants as they forge a new existence – and new families.

For two decades, Juan Raul Perez (Alfred Molina) has patiently endured hard prison life by dreaming about a reunion with his wife, Carmela (Anjelica Huston), who’s had to raise their daughter, Teresa (Trini Alvarado), alone in Miami.

Finally free and on board a boat to the promised land, Juan meets Dottie Perez (Marisa Tomei), a spunky prostitute who proudly claims, ‘I’m like Cuba, used by many, conquered by no-one.’ Once they arrive in the US, the immigration authorities erroneously enlist Juan and Dottie, who have the same surname, as a married couple. An indefatigable survivor, Dottie takes advantage of Juan’s frustration, realizing that if they want to stay in America they’ll have to become a family.

A major problem is the film’s relentless incoherent, often soft gaze at its characters. Attempting to make at once a charmingly free-wheeling and socially poignant movie, director Nair can’t find the right balance among the tale’s multiple facets.

Tomei is a spunky, attractive performer who has the audience on her side, but it’s still hard to determine whether she can carry a movie. In contrast, the usually reliable Huston underacts, rendering one of her most low-key performances.

The Perez Family

Production: Samuel Goldwyn. Director Mira Nair; Producer Michael Nozic, Lydia Dean Pilcher; Screenplay Swicord; Camera Stuart Dryburgh; Editor Robert Estrin; Music Alan Silvestri (sup.); Art Director Mark Friedberg

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 112 MIN.

With: Marisa Tomei Alfred Molina Anjelica Huston Chazz Palminteri Trini Alvarado Celia Cruz

More Film

  • Vanessa Hudgens

    Vanessa Hudgens Joins Jennifer Lopez in Romantic Comedy 'Second Act'

    An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair’s serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Based on Christie Bell’s popular novel, adapted to the screen by Robin Swicord […]

  • 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' film

    Tyler Perry Hopes 'Boo 2!' Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation's 'Darkness'

    An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair’s serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Based on Christie Bell’s popular novel, adapted to the screen by Robin Swicord […]

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon Says a Director Sexually Assaulted Her When She Was 16

    An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair’s serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Based on Christie Bell’s popular novel, adapted to the screen by Robin Swicord […]

  • Jennifer LawrenceElle Women In Hollywood, Arrivals,

    Jennifer Lawrence Says Producer Put Her in 'Naked Lineup,' Told Her to Lose Weight

    An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair’s serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Based on Christie Bell’s popular novel, adapted to the screen by Robin Swicord […]

  • Frank Grillo Jamie Bell

    Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell to Star in Indie 'Donnybrook'

    An enormously likeable ensemble, headed by Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, struggles hard to give the proper color, texture and mood to The Perez Family, Mira Nair’s serio-comic exploration of Cuban immigrants in Miami at the time of the 1980 Mariel boatlift. Based on Christie Bell’s popular novel, adapted to the screen by Robin Swicord […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content