The wonderful movie "A Miracle in Spanish Harlem" opened in theaters quietly on Dec 6, 2013. With all of the blockbusters opening this past holiday season this feature film was overlooked as it has been moving to theaters across the nation. As this movie is viewed it quickly engrosses all, bringing the viewers into the character driven plot as if one is actually part of the film. Replace the title's words "Spanish Harlem" with India, Israel, Nigeria, Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world; the movie transcends all beliefs making it a perfect viewing choice for anyone and everyone.
A new feel good movie classic for all ages to enjoy and understand its message.
"A Miracle in Spanish Harlem" has no huge special effects or notorious star power to make it shout on the screen. What it has is a solid and very talented cast that works with a wonderful script written by Carlos Bermudez, and fabulous direction by Derek Velez Partridge, who multi tasked as Editor and Producer as well. Beginning with the opening credits bringing us to the first scene zeroing in on the main character Roberto “Tito” Jimenez, portrayed by Luis Antonio Ramos, one can see that this is a film is a work of love. In fact love, loss and hope are the running themes throughout the movie.
The movie purely sends the message of continuing to believe whether through religious beliefs or simply through paying it forward and hope. We watch Tito through his many struggles with loss of loved one's while juggling making a living and taking care of his two young daughters; Amanda portrayed by Fatima Ptacek and Samantha portrayed by Brianna Gonzalez–Bonacci. Young viewers of the movie will relate to these excellent young actresses playing the girls speaking up in their sweet, and often naive and funny ways, to help guide their father to find his way. Eva Christina Del Pilar O’Riley, portrayed by Kate Del Castillo is wonderful as the woman who captures Tito's heart unexpectedly. Adrian Martinez is excellent playing Ernie, the developmentally disabled man-child, who is wiser than he will ever know constantly reminding Tito of the true meaning of friendship. Tyrone, portrayed by Andre Royo, sparkles through the movie keeping Tito and viewers wondering what exactly this street dweller has to give as he continues to cross paths with Tito invoking quick words of wisdom in passing. Tito's mother, Theresa, played by Tony award winning actress Priscilla Lopez, takes us through her own struggles in attempting to bring happiness back into her son's life. Tony Plana portrays Tito's stroke disabled father Mariano proving to his son that a wheelchair cannot take away one's happiness and spirit for living.
The movie has a clear and simple message making it a perfect new holiday classic to watch every year.
This movie truly succeeds not only because of its great writing, directing and cast but for the sole reason that it was crafted from the heart. Discussing "A Miracle in Spanish Harlem" with Derek Velez Partridge it is clear that this movie was born out of pure love as he states "I believe there's enough drama in real life. Life is an action/thriller movie, just to be a good person is filled with challenges and I want to talk about that". This movie is a miracle proving that we need to take a step back to look into our own selves for the blockbuster of fireworks that continuously explode in our lives rather than to search out thrills that are fleeting and meaningless.
It is about time that we have a new movie to watch to remind us what true miracles are really about. With no blood, guts, nudity or unnecessary bad language this movie's message is simple yet a massive statement that no one is perfect. Although one may not always live life in what society views as in a perfect manner, miracles can happen to anyone, we just have to learn how to get through life in order to make our own miracles realities. The movie may have the words "Spanish Harlem" in its title but this is truly a film to be enjoyed and recognized across all nationalities, religions, beliefs and generations; in other words this movie could simply be named "A Miracle".
Make miracles happen in your life and never be afraid to dance!
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