Director Leon Ichaso, already responsible for mucking up a made-for-TV Jimi Hendrix biopic, is back at it with this turgid film about salsa star Hector Lavoe (Marc Anthony), which doesnt go behind the music as much as beneath it. Focusing almost solely on Lavoes addictions (drugs and women, ho and hum), El Cantante is a garish, dispiriting mountain of biopic clichés snorted through the lens of a fidgety camera that never pauses long enough for us to know the man responsible for making the Nuyorican sound a mainstream American commodity in the 1970s and early 80s. Every so often, a character appears to tell us that Lavoes sound will change everything, but nothing happens after that; its the same ol self-pity party as Lavoe, whose papa doesnt approve of his move from Puerto Rico to America, blames everyone but himself for his woes, despite his seemingly instant fame. Worse, Anthonys real-life wife, Jennifer Lopez, tries to make the film about her; miscast as Lavoes missus, Puchi, Lopez hides behind aging makeup that makes her look like Bebe Neuwirth as she talks to a documentary crew about a husband we dont really see. Hector is corny, she says, but the movie never proves it. Interesting wed settle for, but we dont get even that.
Leon IchasoMarc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, John Ortiz, Manny PerezLeon IchasoJulio Caro, Simon Fields, Jennifer Lopez, David MaldonadoPicturehouse