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Comedy Movies - Sueno

BUY Sueno (dvd cover)
John Leguizamo, Ana Claudia Talacon, Elizabeth Pena
Written and directed by Renee Chabria
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2006
108 minutes

John Leguizamo (Sexaholix: A Love Story, the dreadful version of Romeo + Juliet, Summer of Sam) plays Antonio in Sueno, a chick flick with music about a Latino immigrant who comes to L.A. with dreams of making it big. A music contest might just take care of that. Ana Claudia Talacon plays Nina, the young woman Antonio falls in love with and Elizabeth Pena plays Mirabella, the divorcee mother of two who is his new neighbor and was once a singer in a band.

Sueno is a like it or hate it movie. Our first reviewer returned it because she could not be bothered finishing this almost romantic movie with Latino music. Sueno does test your patience. Even at 108 minutes it feels about 10 minutes too long. The scenes with Antonio and the band his friend tries to set him up with do not bring anything to the story nor do some of the scenes with Mirabella, especially the magic realism dance number between Pena and Leguizamo. A lot of the stuff about Nina and her father is also extraneous.

Personally, I kind of enjoyed Sueno although it is not a great movie and it is a messy. Maybe I was in a somewhat better mood than the first reviewer. This is little movie that entertains and keeps you interested most of the time. Leguizamo is good as Antonio and the magic realism scenes interspersed here and there, although not always explained (like what is he doing in that truck in the empty parking garage), add an interesting dimension Sueno. There are also some dark comedic moments like Antonio, who sings in a bar that is basically empty save for a few heavy, solitary drinkers, being interrupted in the middle of his song and told to go clean a table.

The really annoying thing about Sueno is the changing picture quality, as if it was filmed using different film stock or different quality cameras. This makes the movie very grainy sometimes and look like a low quality VHS tape.

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