An upbeat singer on a down note

Review C

August 03, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun movie critic

El Cantante purports to tell the story of 1960s and 1970s salsa sensation Hector Lavoe, but it's basically the tale of a womanizing man who marries the worst possible wife - a spouse who hangs on to him for dear life and knows how to use his guilt to hold them together with a spike.

Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez star as Hector and his wife, Puchi, but this is no vanity production. Anthony plays Hector as a musical dynamo and an emotional weakling who can't say no to drugs or sex. Lopez plays Puchi as a woman who props him up when the going is good and uses his failures to cement his need for her. In her mind, she's alternately a cheerleader or a domestic rock. In our eyes, she's at best an enabler, at worst a Medusa.

El Cantante (Picturehouse) Starring Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez. Directed by Leon Ichaso. Rated R. Time 116 minutes.

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