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I Like It Like That Review

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When Lisette's (Valez) husband is put away for robbery, stories begin to surface around the neighbourhood that he was unfaithful. Not taking that lying down, she plans her revenge the best way she knows how…

★★★★★

Taking its title from the song played over the opening credits, writer-director Darnell Martin's debut is a warm friendly hug of a film, lightweight and fluffy but enjoyable for it. And if any doubts remain that this is yet more ghetto oppression or some irksome Girlz N The Hood riff, they are quickly quashed by the film's opening scene - a marathon session of mattress flexing between leading lady Lisette Linares (Velez) and her sexually voracious Hispanic husband Chinos (Seda).

Unfortunately, Lisette soon discovers just how much of a super-stud her hubby really is after an ill-judged robbery during a blackout lands him in jail and stories of his philandering sweep the neighbourhood. Not one to take things lying down and desperate for money to support her unruly kids, she joins the ranks of the employed and takes sweet revenge the only way she knows how.

This is a sassy comedy of the all-men-are-rubbish variety, with a feisty, affecting performance from Velez, ably backed up by stage siren Rita Moreno as Chinos' mad mum. The only man given any sympathy is Lisette's outrageous transvestite brother (Jesse Borrego), on hand to lend a sympathetic ear and padded bra whenever required.

If there are moments when the whole thing threatens to become engulfed in its own saccharine, I Like It Like That is quickly saved by Martin who injects the film with joy and vitality, and whose script is crammed with enough laugh-out-loud irreverences to have you smiling all the way home.

It's simplistic to be sure, but it's also got a warm heart. Solid chick-flickery with a latino flavour.