Love blossoms in the most unexpected of places in this sparkling, sexy romantic comedy about freedom, friendship and the true meaning of family. Starring Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Chazz Palminteriand Anjelica Huston, The Perez Family is a buoyant, colorful [and] optimistic celebration of the immigrant experience (The Washington Post) in America in the early 1980s. Free-spirited Dottie Perez (Tomei) is leaving Cuba for America, her head filled with dreams of movies, mascara and dates with John Wayne. Straight-laced Juan Perez (Molina) is headed for a reunion with the wife (Huston) and daughter (Trini Alvarado) he hasn't seen in 20 years. But when an overworked immigration official mistakes Dottie and Juan for husband and wife, the stage is set for a marital mix-up and some very unpredictable romances!
Marisa Tomei releases her inner spitfire in The Perez Family. Dottie Perez (Tomei) comes to the U.S. from Cuba, along with a mixed lot of criminals, lunatics, and political prisoners--including Juan Perez (Alfred Molina), who hopes to be reunited with his wife after 20 years. To work around the bureaucratic politics of the refugee camps, Dottie persuades Juan to pretend that they're married, and drafts a few other Perezes to create a family. Meanwhile, Juan's wife Carmella believes that Juan never arrived and is finally letting go of his memory, helped by the attentions of a Miami police detective (Chazz Palmintieri). Tomei's sexy passion sometimes spills over into silliness and the story unfolds erratically, but the examination of how love grows and how love fades is sincere and affecting. The actors are charismatic, the music's fantastic, and Tomei wears many skimpy outfits. Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding). --Bret Fetzer