By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Written and directed by Adrian Manzano, this festival entry is very much the epitome of modern filmmaking. Sex, Love, & Salsa is a faux documentary about Julian Suarez (Manzano), a smooth-talking salsa dancer who prides himself as a ladies man and wants to capture his daily exploits on a hand held mini-camera. At the time of filming, Julian dates three different women at the same time, all of whom he has met at his favorite salsa club. Genny (Sofia Rodriguez), a fun and exciting 18-year-old who is completely smitten with Julian and wants a serious relationship with him. Ingrid (Susan Quinn) is Julian’s 40-year-old best friend with benefits whose biological clock is ticking, and wishes to have a child before it’s too late. Finally, Julian meets Maria (Gabrielle Ruiz), a sexy and talented salsa dancer with whom Julian becomes seriously enamored. Julian’s love life soon becomes tremendously complicated as each of these ladies have their own desires and plans with Julian who believes he has found “the one” in Maria.
I very much enjoyed the writing and acting in the film. Everything feels genuine and realistic, making me wonder if Manzano has based this film’s story on his real life experiences. I sincerely applaud him for making a modern style, cinema verite film and pulling it off nicely. As a Mexican-American male who grew up with a strong, machismo influence in my culture, I can certainly appreciate Manzano’s satire and send up of the macho fueled womanizing that often occurs in Hispanic and Latino cultures. I feel that it is an important film that all Hispanic and Latino males should watch, and one that the ladies will absolutely applaud.