Fiesta Grand (DVD Review)14 Sep, 2008 By: David Greenberg
Prebook 9/19/08; Street 10/21/08
Stars Josué Gutierrez, Lyanna Tumaneng.
Presumably aimed at the ever-expanding Latino market, the essential themes and basic plot of actor-turned-writer-director-producer David Basulto’s film could easily be directed toward any ethnic group. It seems, the genre of romantic comedy tinged with raunch might know few cultural boundaries; tales of people falling in love and doing what it takes to remain in love have a universal resonance.
The basic, classic plot focuses on a young man, James, who is madly in love with a beautiful young woman, Monica, despite her parents’ blatant and contemptuous disapproval of him. James is wildly content as the owner of an incredibly popular and well-regarded hot dog cart that has attracted the attention of a slimy business entrepreneur who cannot believe that James does not want to sell to him so that he can start a nationwide chain of carts.
Additionally, James is the target of a couple of bumbling rivals who are bent on destroying their chief competitor. Monica, however, is upwardly mobile and poised for more-conventional success. Her parents hilariously conspire to match her with Reuben, the slimy ex-boyfriend from which Monica had to get a restraining order, who is now running for public office.
Fiesta Grand is cut from the same cloth as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Meet the Parents, though on an unmistakably much lower budget.
That said, on the surface, Fiesta Grand does have a distinctly Latin flavor, shot in sun-drenched Orlando, with Spanish-inflected pop and hip-hop constantly pulsating on the soundtrack and a plot device that has two of the major supporting characters disguising themselves under distinctive Mexican wrestling masks. But, as it should be, it is the actual, accessible story of the film that might appeal to a wider audience.