Immigration Tango: Film Review

This lame sex comedy doesn't exactly add much to the debate over illegal immigrants. 

David Burton Morris' feature, which co-stars Madonna's ex Carlos Leon, squanders its timely illegal alien theme with a predictable and unconvincing story line that makes "Green Card" seem a classic by comparison.

A sexy young cast in frequent states of undress is about the only appealing element of Immigration Tango, a romantic comedy that makes the Gerard Depardieu-Andie MacDowell starrer Green Card seem a classic by comparison.

Squandering its timely illegal alien theme with its thoroughly predictable and unconvincing story line, David Burton Morris' (Patti Rocks) feature is likely to be quickly deported from theaters.

Set in Miami, the film concerns two couples: Columbian Carlos (Carlos Leon, Madonna's ex) and his Russian girlfriend, Elena (Elika Portnoy), each facing imminent deportation, and their best friends, Americans Betty (Ashley Wolfe) and Mike (McCaleb Burnett).

Desperate for Carlos and Elena to stay in the country, the foursome hatch a plot in which the couples will switch partners for temporary sham marriages designed to fool the INS. All seems to be going well, until Mike starts falling for the gorgeous Elena, which is understandable since she's none too shy about running around naked. Meanwhile, Betty, feeling neglected and resentful, finds herself succumbing to the swarthy charms of her new husband, with predictably chaotic results for all concerned.

It's a reasonably clever premise for a topical sex comedy, but the witless screenplay -- written by the director along with Martin L. Kelley and Todd Norwood -- is filled with rote dialogue, cheap gags and stereotypical characterizations, and the lame performances don't help matters.

The film inexplicably won honors for best picture and best actor (Leon) at the 2010 Boston Film Festival, which only serves to show that this is one regional fest in desperate need of better programming.

Opens: Feb. 18 (Roadside Attractions)
Production: Mutressa Movies
Cast: McCaleb Burnett, Elika Portnoy, Carlos Leon, Ashley Wolfe, Avery Sommers, Beth Glover, Steve DuMouchel
Director: David Burton Morris
Screenwriters: David Burton Morris, Martin L. Kelley, Todd Norwood
Producer: Elika Portnoy
Directors of photography: Angel Barroeta, Taylor Gentry
Editors: Lee Cippola, Misha Tenenbaum
Music: Dan Wool
Production designers: Jea De Voe, Nichole Ruiz
Costume designer: Silvio Valdez     

Rated R, 90 minutes