There's something about Hispanic culture which has film-makers swinging their hips. Although based on the Mariel boatlift of 1980, this is no less a rose-tinted spectacle than, say, Don Juan DeMarco or The Mambo Kings. It's crammed with histrionic performances and ersatz mise en scène, and it looks like a musical after all the songs have been cut out. Tomei is Cuban prostitute Dottie Perez, Molina political prisoner Juan Raul Perez (they're erroneously recorded as husband and wife by US immigration officials); Huston is his real wife Carmela, who escaped to Miami 20 years before, and token Hispanic Alvarado their daughter Teresa. Tomei gets the worst of it. Coming to the States with a passion for Elvis, a long line in cocktail dresses, and the ambition to 'fok' John Wayne, she shakes her money-maker, amasses an extended misfit family, and generally carries on like Rita Moreno with ants in her pants.
The Perez Family
Cast and crew