Raising Victor Vargas

Warmly recommended to viewers who like their romantic comedies small-scale but life-size, this charming debut feature by Peter Sollette, set in a Dominican milieu on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, follows the stumbling exploits of the title character (Victor Rasuk), a small-time teenage Romeo trying to upgrade his image after being caught in the act with a chubby neighbor. Victor plots his way into the good graces of “Juicy Judy” (Judy Marte), a wary local beauty with agendas of her own; the hero’s sister, his younger brother, his cantankerous grandmother (Altagracia Guzman), and Judy’s brother and best friend all play significant parts in the developing intrigue. The nonprofessional cast contributed a lot to the script. 88 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Esquire, Landmark’s Century Centre.

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