There’s simply one thing in regards to the Christmas vacation season that offers many people a dopamine kick that has us feeling heat and fuzzy inside, and there’s research to back it up. It’s because of this that Christmas movies are usually so standard this time of 12 months — even the corniest ones appear price watching. But till just lately, it was onerous to seek out Christmas motion pictures that resembled what Christmas seems to be like for Latinx households. While we may take pleasure in rewatching movies like “A Christmas Story” or “It’s a Wonderful Life,” it will definitely be good to see a movie that a minimum of acknowledges how Latinxs within the States have fun the vacation and the way the most important emphasis for us is definitely on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), not Christmas Day. After all, we do make up 19 % of the US inhabitants, in response to a 2021 study from the Pew Research Center. Director Gabriela Tagliavini took on the duty of lastly making that occur for us in her new Netflix rom-com “Christmas With You.”
The movie stars Aimee Garcia as pop famous person Angelina, who has had hits all through her musical profession however is rapidly discovering herself turning into irrelevant. She’s on a good deadline to put in writing a Christmas track that her file label is pushing her to place out, however the very last thing on her thoughts is Christmas. A love story begins to brew when Angelina decides to pay a private go to to a teenage fan named Cristina (performed by Deja Monique Cruz), who posted a video of herself on Instagram singing certainly one of Angelina’s well-known singles. She will get caught in Cristina’s city throughout a snow blizzard and is pressured to have dinner with Cristina and her music instructor father, performed by Freddie Prinze Jr. Not solely does this movie embrace a serious comeback from Prinze, who performs Miguel and who many neglect is of Puerto Rican descent, nevertheless it’s additionally one of many few occasions, if not the primary time, we see him really enjoying the position of a Latinx character.
“I’ve really had a variety of conversations with Freddie about this. He’s really excited to play a Latino. He loves his tradition.”
“I’ve really had a variety of conversations with Freddie about this. He’s really excited to play a Latino. He loves his tradition,” Tagliavini tells POPSUGAR. “He was actually excited that we solid him as Latino as a result of he stated folks do not actually give him the chance. Remember, actors needed to be known as for roles. He stated lots of people criticized him due to his pores and skin . . . But Latinos have every kind of pores and skin tones and hair and we’re combined and that is lovely. He’s positively Latino. He’s very happy with his Latinidad, and he is very happy with making this film.”
To say that Christmas motion pictures with Latinx casts have by no means existed earlier than “Christmas With You” can be inaccurate. We’ve had just a few movies right here and there, like “Nothing Like the Holidays” in 2008, starring John Leguizamo, and Lifetime’s “Feliz NaviDAD” in 2020, starring Mario Lopez. But the choices have been few and much in between. Tagliavini felt greater than ever that it was time to create a vacation movie with a robust Latinx solid that can convey Latinx households pleasure and pleasure.
“I do not wish to make motion pictures with Latinos which are narcos or maids. This is a couple of highly effective popstar Latina who’s profitable and owns a penthouse in Manhattan. That’s what I would like Latinas to see. To see that it is attainable.”
“I do not wish to make motion pictures with Latinos which are narcos or maids. This is a couple of highly effective popstar Latina who’s profitable and owns a penthouse in Manhattan. That’s what I would like Latinas to see. To see that it is attainable,” Tagliavini says. “Freddie performs a music instructor, a extremely sort, trustworthy man, and his daughter has a quinceañera within the film. The tías are humorous, and the grandmother can also be Latina. So, we now have every kind of very colourful Latino characters, however they’re all actual folks — they aren’t clichés.”
While the movie does not get particular in regards to the characters’ backgrounds, the meals Miguel cooks says all of it between his well-known posole and his tamale-making expertise. “We did not wish to be particular as a result of whenever you get particular — I do not know — there’s a variety of critiques on the market that may go, ‘Wait a minute. They’re Mexican?’ But Freddie has Puerto Rican descent and Aimee has Mexican descent. So we did not point out it, however clearly the meals they eat may be very Mexican,” Tagliavini says.
Angelina wants a Christmas track and Miguel already has one he is engaged on, so she proposes the concept they collaborate on it. Through the method, Angelina begins to bond with Cristina, as they share the ache of shedding a mother. Angelina additionally will get near Miguel. But their love story, a bit harking back to the 1999 sitcom “Notting Hill,” the place the protagonist is simply too well-known for consolation and her love curiosity is a pleasant man who enjoys a “regular life,” will get sophisticated.
How it ends is for viewers to seek out out, however one factor is for positive: watching a Christmas film that facilities Latinx of us, whether or not you are a fan of tacky Christmas rom-coms or not, hits completely different. It normalizes our tales and our realities even when it is within the context of a fictional movie. It permits us to reimagine ourselves in several methods, together with as a profitable pop star who has her fortunately ever after. And Tagliavini believes it is the sort of movie that can resonate with many — not simply Latinx audiences.
“We consider this film, although it has a Latino taste, is common and can enchantment to the world. And that is why Netflix is releasing it in 190 international locations,” she says. “I really feel a Korean household can watch this and adore it as a result of it is about meals and it is about love and music.”
Speaking of music, whereas Garcia is not knowledgeable dancer or singer, she did will get tons of coaching to play this position and executed it so seamlessly, Netflix launched a “Christmas With You” soundtrack. And like Prinze advised us in a earlier interview, “They don’t do that unless it’s good!”
“I really feel like folks wish to watch these movies to make themselves really feel good, particularly on the finish of the 12 months, particularly round Christmas. And Christmas motion pictures are alleged to make you’re feeling heat and fuzzy; that is no exception and I feel we achieved that,” Tagliavini says. “The movie has many messages. Family is necessary. Follow your goals. Open your coronary heart. I do know this appears cliché however I feel these are common issues that all of us must work on to be higher folks. It’s actually about this love that could be a household love, it is a relationship love, it is a father-daughter love. It’s love throughout.”