Raising Victor Vargas

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Teenagers in the Hispanic communities of lower Manhattan try to deal with being young and in love.


In this coming-of-age film, 26 year-old writer-director Peter Sollett reworks the standard formula.

His debut feature, set in the Hispanic communities of lower Manhattan, is a tale of boy meets girl, girl spurns boy, boy courts girl to quash rumour about boy and other less attractive girl, boy upsets Catholic grandmother, boy reveals brother's onanistic bathroom habits, boy gets thrown out of home, boy gets girl.

Disappointed by conventional talent, Sollett drew his cast from the housing projects of South East Manhattan, advertising auditions on flyers. Much of the dialogue was improvised too, making for a vibrant, moving and often funny film which speaks volumes about being young and in love.

Peter Sollett's gentle family comedy is thoroughly likeable, thanks to its host of charming characters and poignant, upbeat ending.