<p>One of Mexico's most successful and well-loved comic actors, Eugenio Derbez parlayed his love for broad humor and eccentric characters into a two-decade career on television sketch comedy and...
Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez is set to welcome his second child later this year (14). The Instructions Not Included star's wife, Alessandra Rosaldo, is expecting a baby girl and the couple is currently searching for a home in California to prepare for the impending birth.
This is the second child for Derbez, who has a 22-year-old son with actress Victoria Ruffo.
Derbez and and Rosaldo have been married since July, 2012.
Eugenio Derbez's Instructions Not Included has taken Hollywood by surprise with a $10 million (£6.6 million) opening, becoming the largest debut for a Spanish-language film ever over America's Labor Day holiday. The movie, which Derbez wrote, directed and starred in, ranked fifth overall at the U.S. box office - just behind much larger films like Lee Daniels' The Butler, One Direction: This is Us and Planes.
Instructions Not Included follows the story of a ladies' man who is forced into single parenthood after he becomes a dad to a daughter.
Derbez has only starred in a few movies in the U.S., but he is a big name in Latin America and relied heavily on his social media presence to promote the film. It opened in 347 theatres, earning $28,800 (£19,200) in average ticket sales at each venue, according to Hollywood.com.
The coming-of-age movie is nothing new of course; it's just that so often their subjects are sulky teen boys or man-children. Movies like Thirteen Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains The Legend of Billie Jean and even Mean Girls are few and far between and even when they do appear like blips on a radar the casts are usually entirely white upper middle class teens. Girl in Progress is a lighter take on the adolescent turmoil and it's often heavy-handed and its characters seem flat but one thing it does with ease is put Latinas front and center without any sort of back-patting or race-related teachable moments. That's not to say Girl in Progress doesn't occasionally dip into Lifetime movie territory though.
Girl in Progress stars Cierra Ramirez as Ansiedad a budding teen who wants to be absolutely nothing like her irresponsible party girl mom Grace played by Eva Mendes. When Ansiedad's teacher Ms. Armstrong (Patricia Arquette) tells her class about coming-of-age rituals and how they're used to navigate between the world of childhood and adulthood she takes it as a literal guide to leaving her childhood — and her mother — behind.
Ansiedad is clever and a bit of a goody-two-shoes; she outlines a plan to go from being a regular girl to a woman as if it were a multimedia project for history. She explains in detail the different stages — acting out losing her virginity to a bad boy etc. — to her best friend Tavita (Raini Rodriguez) who looks on skeptically but agrees to help her friend even when part of the plan includes dumping her dorky BFF. Naturally the best-laid plans of teen girls often go awry and Ansiedad learns the hard way that these things are actually all pretty crappy ways to try become an adult. Unfortunately her dialogue is often reduced to exposition; she literally explains to the adults around her the steps she's at in her transformation. It undercuts Ramirez's performance and distances us from engaging with her emotionally.
Grace is Ansiedad's foil; she never finishes anything she moves them from town to town and she makes poor choices in men. Although this character could have really gone off the rails Mendes isn't vying for a dramatic Oscar bid; yes Grace likes to dance and drink and she's not a present mom but she's an overgrown teenager not a cruel parent. Unfortunately this is overemphasized with scenes of Grace getting ready to go out eating cereal sitting on the counter (and drinking the milk from the bowl of course) or falling asleep with her shoes on which Ansiedad carefully removes.
There's a subplot with Grace and two men but it doesn't do much to forward the story. One is her boyfriend a married gynecologist played by Matthew Modine and the other is a guy she works with at the crab shack whose nickname is Mission Impossible played by Eugenio Derbez.
This is actually one of the more confusing ways Girl in Progress deals with race. Grace needs money for the balance of Ansiedad's scholarship so while it makes sense that she'd take an extra job or two to make ends meet she's actually the housekeeper for Dr. Harford (Modine)'s family. Although Mission Impossible seems like he could be a good candidate for Grace there are some implausible plot developments that make him a rather unsuitable character.
Is the point here that it's more important for Grace to figure things out on her own? But then why when race isn't even spoken of in the movie would these odd details crop up? Girls can sniff out the most tender spot to attack in a weaker girl but the mean girls make fun of Ansiedad's clothes or Tavita's weight never their race. It doesn't quite add up and while I'd like to not make this a bigger deal than it is it seems odd that Girl in Progress would make race a non-issue in Ansiedad's world and then rely on tired clichés for Grace.
As for Mendes herself it's impossible to totally tone down her bombshell good looks but that also acts as a foil for Anseidad. The way Mendes is portrayed isn't particularly salacious or even shaming; she's just a damn good-looking woman with a young daughter who would prefer to be nothing like her. She's given more to do than in her usual roles but even when she's telling Ms. Armstrong all the reasons why she shouldn't judge her for her life choices it doesn't come across as particularly hard-hitting. The rote dialogue doesn't do anyone any favors.
Girl in Progress doesn't transgress or shock like Thirteen or other movies about the traumas of being a teen but that could be a good thing. Although it's not the hippest movie around town it is something that moms and daughters to watch together and talk about. It's also worth boosting a movie that doesn't rely on the same Hannah Montana clones to cast; the more that young girls can see themselves onscreen the better.
The heartbreak of illegal immigration is vividly displayed in this poignant story of nine year old Carlos (Adrian Alonso) a boy living in Mexico with his grandmother while his mother (Kate del Castillo) works as an illegal domestic in Los Angeles trying to make enough money to send home so the son she has been separated from can live a good life--even if it means being without her. When the grandmother suddenly dies Carlos decides to cross the border and look for mom. As his journey continues he encounters a woman (America Ferrera) and her brother (Jesse Garcia) who make tuition money taking babies into the U.S. In this instance she decides to help smuggle Carlos across by hiding him in her van. Once he lands in Tuscon he meets a sympathetic middle- aged migrant worker named Enrique (Eugenio Derbez) who accompanies him to East L.A. Once there they try to locate his mother--their only clue being a vague description of the area around a pay phone she used in her weekly calls home to Carlos. The film which is shot mostly in Spanish with some English language scenes as well offers great big screen opportunities to some of Mexico’s biggest television stars including telenovela favorite Kate del Castillo. She delivers a moving performance as a mother living separated by borders with her only son but living “under the same moon.” The film really belongs however to young Alonso--a natural in front of the cameras who impressed American audiences as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas’ son in The Legend of Zorro but breaks out here as the determined Carlos. Both create a touching mother-son relationship even though they are never in any scenes together. Also playing against type is superstar Derbez unquestionably one of Latin America’s most popular actors who develops a winning chemistry with Alonso making every moment of their screen time count. Ugly Betty’s Ferrera also turns up for some effective moments including a heart-stopping sequence in which she is questioned by border guards while the van carrying the hidden Carlos is searched. Although she has made some award winning shorts Under the Same Moon represents the first feature length film for Mexican-born Patricia Riggen. She succeeds on all levels emphasizing the characters in the story over the potentially political hot button topic of immigration which her film so eloquently humanizes. Working with screenwriter Ligiah Villalobos the two women give urgency to the tragic separation of mother and son caught between two disparate cultures. Given the time restraints and low budget Riggen’s command of the camera is impressive particularly in the inventive and almost spiritual ways she manages to bring mother and son together on screen even though they never share a shot. Use of music is also hugely effective with Carlos Silotto’s melodic score recalling a similar film about a young dreamer Cinema Paradiso. Ultimately though Under the Same Moon lives or dies with the actors and Riggen’ spot-on casting decisions--particularly in the case of Alonso--really lift it to new levels. Most of the actors have extensive TV followings and Riggen knew by casting them she would risk the wrath of Mexican film critics who uniformly look down on television. Doesn’t matter. Under the Same Moon has universal appeal and should find approving audiences around the world.
First Hollywood film appearance in "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"
First American TV series, "Rob"
First feature film, "Por un vestido de novio"
Dubs Eddie Murphy's voice in Disney's "Mulan"
"La familia P. Luche" debuts
Breaks North American box office records with "Instructions Not Included"
Tours U.S. and appears on Broadway with "Latinologues"
Stars in his own sketch comedy series, "Al derecho y al Derbez"
First work as a series regular on "Cachun cachun ra ra!"
Dubs Eddie Murphy's voice in "Shrek"
Makes his directorial debut with "Al derecho y al Derbez"
Third sketch comedy show, "XHDRBZ"
<p>One of Mexico's most successful and well-loved comic actors, Eugenio Derbez parlayed his love for broad humor and eccentric characters into a two-decade career on television sketch comedy and features, including the record-breaking "Instructions Not Included" (2013). Derbez began appearing on television as a child and broke into semi-stardom in the late '80s and early '90s with a string of programs that showcased his knack for outrageous characters. He was soon headlining his own comedy series, "Al Derecho y al Derbez" (Televisa 1993-1995), which led to even greater success with the surreal family sitcom "La familia P. Luche" (Televisa 2003- ). Despite his enormous popularity with Spanish-speaking audiences throughout North America, Derbez never officially broke through to Caucasian viewers, though there were several attempts, including the sitcom "Rob" (CBS 2012). He circumnavigated the issue by co-writing, directing and starring in the comedy feature "Instructions Not Included," which surprised industry observers by becoming the highest grossing Spanish-language film in North America upon its release. Its runaway success appeared to serve as notice to both American and Mexican audiences that Eugenio Derbez was the biggest name in Spanish-language comedy. </p><p>Born Eugenio González Derbez on September 2, 1961 in Mexico City, Mexico, he was the son of actress Silvia Derbez and publicist Eugenio González Salas. He spent his childhood on the sets of television shows starring his mother, and began his own acting career as an extra on a <i>telenovela</i>. After honing his talents in drama classes and on stage, Derbez made his debut as a series regular on the high school comedy "Cachún cachún ra ra!" (Televisa 1981-1987). By the end of the decade, he was a fixture on Mexican television and in features, playing numerous roles in the sketch comedy series "Anabel" (Televisa 1988-1993) before earning his own successful variety series, "Al Derecho y al Derbez." The popular program gave Derbez a showcase to create some of his most enduring characters, including the bespectacled know-it-all Armando Hoyos, who created his own outlandish dictionary definitions. As Hoyos, Derbez penned two books, including a dictionary, which became best-sellers.</p><p>By the late 1990s, Derbez was among the most popular entertainers in Mexico. He was a one-man television industry, writing, producing, directing and starring in numerous series, including the hit sketch comedy shows "Derbez en cuando" (Televisa 1999) and "XHDRbZ" (Televisa 2002-2006), which parodied Mexican network television. The latter show also launched one of Derbez's most well-loved comedy shows, "La familia P. Luche," an offbeat family show set in a world where plush was the choice for clothes, furniture and other items. Derbez's appeal with Spanish-speaking viewers eventually caught the attention of producers in the United States, who tapped him to provide the voices of Donkey for the Latin American releases of "Shrek" (2001) and "Shrek 2" (2004). Though his appeal with Latino audiences in the U.S. was proven by his sold-out 2004 tour and limited Broadway run with the play "Latinologues," Derbez remained largely unknown to Anglo Americans, save for minor appearances in comedies like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" (2008) and the Adam Sandler vehicle "Jack and Jill" (2011). His debut as an American television performer on the poorly-received Rob Schneider-starring sitcom "Rob" was pulled after eight episodes. In 2013, he earned his biggest hit to date with the feature "Instructions Not Included," about a playboy (Derbez) who discovers that he has a daughter. Derbez directed and co-wrote the film, which broke box office records in North America, grossing more than $39 million in the United States and $27 million in Mexico. </p>
In addition to his television and film career, Derbez has enjoyed a long career on stage as both actor and director, most notably in the Mexico City production of the Broadway musical "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
Derbez is much in-demand as a host for various Spanish-language award shows, including the Latin Grammys, which he hosted in 2010.
His 2012 wedding to Alessadra Rosaldo was broadcast live on Televisa
Won the Supernova Award, the top honor at the 2013 "Premois Juventud" (Univision, 2004- ), a popular entertainment award show. His appearance drew a record 11 million viewers.
"Instructions Not Included" became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in North America, as well as the fourth highest-grossing foreign film released in the United States.