Why Latinxs Want “Christmas With You”

There’s simply one thing concerning 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 is because of this that Christmas films are typically so in style this time of 12 months — even the corniest ones appear value watching. However till lately, it was exhausting to search out Christmas films that resembled what Christmas appears to be like like for Latinx households. Whereas we may get pleasure from rewatching movies like “A Christmas Story” or “It is a Fantastic Life,” it will actually be good to see a movie that a minimum of acknowledges how Latinxs within the States have fun the vacation and the way the foremost emphasis for us is definitely on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), not Christmas Day. In spite of everything, we do make up 19 p.c of the US inhabitants, in keeping with 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 celebrity Angelina, who has had hits all through her musical profession however is shortly discovering herself turning into irrelevant. She’s on a good deadline to jot down a Christmas tune that her report 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 one in every 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 significant comeback from Prinze, who performs Miguel and who many neglect is of Puerto Rican descent, nevertheless it’s additionally one of many few instances, if not the primary time, we see him really taking part in the function of a Latinx character.

“I’ve really had numerous conversations with Freddie about this. He is really excited to play a Latino. He loves his tradition.”

“I’ve really had numerous conversations with Freddie about this. He is really excited to play a Latino. He loves his tradition,” Tagliavini tells hollywoodnewsflash.us. “He was actually excited that we forged him as Latino as a result of he stated individuals do not actually give him the chance. Keep in mind, actors needed to be referred to as for roles. He stated lots of people criticized him due to his pores and skin . . . However Latinos have all types of pores and skin tones and hair and we’re combined and that is stunning. He is positively Latino. He is very pleased with his Latinidad, and he is very pleased with making this film.”

To say that Christmas films with Latinx casts have by no means existed earlier than “Christmas With You” could be inaccurate. We have had a number of movies right here and there, like “Nothing Just like the Holidays” in 2008, starring John Leguizamo, and Lifetime’s “Feliz NaviDAD” in 2020, starring Mario Lopez. However 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 forged that can carry Latinx households pleasure and pleasure.

“I do not wish to make films with Latinos which might be narcos or maids. That is a couple of highly effective popstar Latina who’s profitable and owns a penthouse in Manhattan. That is what I need Latinas to see. To see that it is doable.”

“I do not wish to make films with Latinos which might be narcos or maids. That is a couple of highly effective popstar Latina who’s profitable and owns a penthouse in Manhattan. That is what I need Latinas to see. To see that it is doable,” 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’ve all types of very colourful Latino characters, however they’re all actual individuals — they aren’t clichés.”

Whereas the movie does not get particular concerning 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 numerous critiques on the market that may go, ‘Wait a minute. They’re Mexican?’ However 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 tune and Miguel already has one he is engaged on, so she proposes the concept they collaborate on it. Via the method, Angelina begins to bond with Cristina, as they share the ache of shedding a mother. Angelina additionally will get near Miguel. However their love story, a bit paying homage to the 1999 sitcom “Notting Hill,” the place the protagonist is just too well-known for consolation and her love curiosity is a pleasant man who enjoys a “regular life,” will get sophisticated.

The way it ends is for viewers to search 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 type of movie that can resonate with many — not simply Latinx audiences.

“We imagine this film, though 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 find it irresistible as a result of it is about meals and it is about love and music.”

Talking of music, whereas Garcia is not an expert dancer or singer, she did will get tons of coaching to play this function and executed it so seamlessly, Netflix launched a “Christmas With You” soundtrack. And like Prinze informed us in a earlier interview, “They do not do this until it is good!”

“I really feel like individuals wish to watch these movies to make themselves really feel good, particularly on the finish of the 12 months, particularly round Christmas. And Christmas films are presupposed 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. Household is essential. Observe your goals. Open your coronary heart. I do know this appears cliché however I feel these are common issues that all of us need to work on to be higher individuals. It is actually about this love that could be a household love, it is a relationship love, it is a father-daughter love. It is love throughout.”

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