Here’s a forthcoming comedy starring Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek, the former of which bought the film through his company 3pas Studios. In it, Derbez plays a kept man married to an aging rich white lady, who also apparently attempts to seduce Kristen Bell with his “Latin loverness,” eugghhh.
Derbez is a huge star so hopefully he can make it work but pardon me for recoiling at a script titled after a stereotype written by two white guys, Jon Zack and Chris Spain! Like, what, the title Spicy Sexo Spitfire was taken? It doesn’t look as bad as, say, From Prada to Nada, but still; the Latin lover trope is really the last thing we need to be contending with in 2017, after a year of seeing exactly how Mexican stereotypes manifest themselves and turn ugly.
When 3pas bought the script in 2015, Derbez and partner Ben Odell had this to say about it:
“I was doubled over laughing in the pitch; the Latin lover is such an iconic character,” said Derbez. “We are very excited to add this to our slate.”
“We love Zack and Spain; they bring the humor and the heart that is the embodiment of our brand. And it’s a perfect vehicle for Eugenio,” said Odell.
Derbez became an international superstar after 2014's Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish language film released in the United States and Mexico’s highest-grossing film ever. In it, he portrays a philanderer who reforms his ways after becoming an unwitting father, doing everything he can to take care of his surprise daughter. Written and directed by Derbez, it looked corny but sweet, a portrayal of parental love mitigated by some dumb but acceptable slapstick here and there.
As ever, I shall reserve judgement of How to Be a Latin Lover until after seeing it—hey, maybe it’s a brilliant spoof on the stereotype! Maybe!!!—but suffice to say the trailer and concept makes me deeply uncomfortable on principle.