Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Raising Victor Vargas (2003)

Sweet and likeable drama, sort of a junior-league NYC All the Real Girls, about a young lothario's attempts to romance a pretty neighborhood girl. Accusations of over-sanitization might not be without merit, but it is nice for once to see an inner-city drama where nobody gets capped. The non-professional cast is remarkably believable, especially considering that much of the dialogue was improvised; Peter Sollet's direction is confident but unobtrusive. Tim Orr's cinematography provides a major assist -- after only three years, he's already one of the best in the business. Proof that Sollett is a guy to watch: The side business between Carlos and Melonie, a throwaway in your average film, is just as well-handled as the main action. (It helped that I found Melonie Diaz to be irresistibly cute.)

Grade: B+


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