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Raising Victor Vargas

Year: 2003
Director: Peter Solett
Writer: Peter Solett
Yet another coming of age story, the endless theme transposed to yet another location, period in history and set of socio-economic circumstances.

The only marks due to this film go to the acting and filming style. The performances are pretty amazing from some non-actors, and the whole thing runs almost like a documentary - embellishments like the grandmother washing Victor's younger brother's hair are nice touches that show the surroundings and portray the atmosphere of the story well.

Basically a bittersweet story of growing up from the perspective of self-styled Lothario Victor, it tells of the trials and tribulations of growing up in a poor black/Hispanic New York - trying to look cool to your friends (and chicks), deal with your warped family and the generation gap in it and work out what's important in your world.

After getting caught sleeping with fat Donna, Victor's Casanova reputation is trashed. The only way he can redeem himself is by moving on the neighbourhood babe Judy. Meanwhile, his brother's asking all about the ways of women and his grandmother's trying to give him up as a delinquent.

At times touching, never particularly original except in filmmaking style, it's worth seeing.

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