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Case Number 06337: Small Claims Court

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Inspiracion

Lionsgate // 2001 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Diane Wild (Retired) // March 4th, 2005

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All Rise...

Inspiracion , how apt thy title; you inspired Judge Diane Wild to find out whether skeet shooting works with DVDs.

The Charge

When you find true love…it's forever.

The Case

It's no secret that certain minority groups are under-represented in Hollywood. Slowly, and with considerable effort from pioneering filmmakers, inroads have been made. Now, one such group has a movie to call its own. We had to leave it to Mexican cinema, but, finally, macho misogynists with a hankering for romantic comedy have their breakthrough movie in Inspiracion.

The movie focuses on the desperate search of young Gabriel (Arath de la Torre) for a woman, any woman, who might be The One. After a couple of false starts, he finds this woman of his dreams in a crowded nightclub. In the two seconds he has to evaluate her, he learns that she's beautiful, she's disdainful, and her name is Alejandra (Barbara Mori). Of course, that's enough for him.

But then she disappears into the crowd and he begins his arduous quest to mope about her beauty. Oh, and to discover who she is. But since he only knows her first name, all he can do is wait until writer/director Angel Mario Huerto reaches into his bag of lame movie plot devices to put Gabriel in her path…literally. She nearly runs over his dog, acts like a bitch, and leaves him to follow her in a cab—a chase sequence taken from that same tired bag of tricks. So they fall in love, things go wrong, things go right, blah blah blah, the end.

I've seen wonderful romantic comedies that centered on and appealed to men—High Fidelity is a personal favorite. I've seen bad romantic comedies, misguided romantic comedies, boring romantic comedies—too many to name. But I have never seen a romantic comedy that has so thoroughly forgotten to even make an attempt to appeal to anyone. The law of averages says that someone, somewhere, must like this film. I just can't picture who that person might be.

If only DVD Verdict had a genre category for "What Were They Thinking." Inspiracion is part soap opera, part crude teen comedy (cruder if you don't rely on the sanitized subtitles), part slapstick, part sitcom—all mess.

It opens with one of the most excruciatingly bad pieces of acting and writing to grace my television screen in a long time. An extreme closeup of our hero Gabriel against a black backdrop has him spouting this: "When a man discovers the true value of a woman, the odyssey of seduction last forever." Then we cut to Gabriel and his buddies making crude comments to and about women at a raucous baseball game. If these scenes don't make you want to gag and then hurl something at your TV before the opening credits, you might be that person I can't picture—the target audience for this movie.

And about those sanitized subtitles…they're often bad English. Not but-teens-really-talk-ungrammatically English; these occasionally slip into made-in-Japan-DVD-player-manual English. You know you're dealing with a quality DVD release when the most fun you'll have is to play "guess what they really mean" with the subtitles. Luckily, the dialogue is so inane that it doesn't really matter if you guess right.

The DVD is presented in 1.33:1 pan and scan. Normally I would protest, but in this case, the less of this movie I had to see, the better—I'll even take having the sides trimmed off. The image is very washed out, especially in the numerous outdoor scenes, and grain and artifacts abound. But at least there was something to distract from the actual image. The sound is little better than mono, but unfortunately the dialogue is clear enough nonetheless.

Bad acting, ridiculous script, shaky direction, poor audio and video quality—but the movie must have its redeeming features, right? Um, Monterrey, Mexico, where it was filmed, looks pretty. And there are no extras to prolong the torture.

Inspiracion has only inspired me to implore you: don't waste your time with this movie. Mexican cinema has experienced a new Golden Age recently. Seek out Y Tu Mama Tambien, for example, but avoid this movie, which comes from Mexico's unheralded Leaden Age.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 24

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• Full Frame (Pan and Scan)
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Bad
• Comedy
• Foreign
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies
• Teen

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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