Release Date: August 30, 2013 (limited)
Studio: Lionsgate (Pantelion Films)
Director: Eugenio Derbez
Screenwriter: Guillermo Ríos, Leticia López Margalli, Eugenio Derbez
Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Jessica Lindsey, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Alessandra Rosaldo, Hugo Stiglitz, Arcelia Ramirez
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, thematic elements and language)
Plot Summary: Valentin (Eugenio Derbez) is Acapulco’s resident playboy–until a former fling leaves a baby on his doorstep and takes off without a trace. Valentin leaves Mexico for Los Angeles to find the baby’s mother, but only ends up finding a new home for himself and his newfound daughter, Maggie (Loreto Peralta). An unlikely father figure, Valentin raises Maggie for six years, while also establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen to pay the bills, with Maggie acting as his on-set coach. As Valentin raises Maggie, she forces him to grow up too. But their unique and offbeat family is threatened when Maggie’s birth mom shows up out of the blue, and Valentin realizes he’s in danger of losing his daughter- and his best friend.
In a world of big budget blockbusters some of the best movies are the smaller independent films from all over the world. The latest Instructions Not Included is a Spanish/American film from writer, director, and star Eugenio Derbez. While he has made appearances in Jack and Jill with Adam Sandler and stole the TV show ROB with Rob Schneider he is already pretty huge in Mexico, this marks his first foray into directing but does he bring his usual comedy chops along with the ability to create a memorable film?
Instructions Not Included follows a resident playboy in Mexico whose life is thrown upside down when a former fling leaves a baby on his door step. He leaves Mexico for Los Angeles in hopes to find the baby’s mother, but instead finds a new life as a successful stuntman and raises the girl for over six years. But when her mother returns it risks everything they have built together. This is one of those surprising films that really deliver way more than you may expect. Eugenio Derbez has crafted a great film mixed with plenty of humor blended perfectly with a heart-warming touching story. The film is partly in Spanish and partly in English, but blends both perfectly to create a film that works for not only both markets, but also for all audiences even if they don’t like subtitled films. Derbez has everything needed to lead this film with his already established ability with comedy, but carries the emotional aspect needed to bring the rest of this story together effectively. When making a film like this that involves a child actor to be just as integral to the story as the adult lead their performance can make or break the film. Thankfully Loreto Peralta is amazing and is able to hold her own alongside Derbez like a pro, despite this being her first role. Beyond being adorable and having the child innocence, she is able to bring the needed maturity to the role.
This is one of those small films that comes along and will really surprise you. While it has great performances, it lets the story lead the charge and knocks it out of the park. This is a comedy, but be warned this funny man has crafted a film that will not only tickle your funny bone, but also tug at your heart strings.