Hazlo Como Hombre opens with an M.P.A.A warning that states “The lead role in this movie is sexist, homophobic, and conservative. Do not try this at home”, a kind of absurd, pre-apology that ostensibly absolves the filmmakers from any potential hurt feelings. The problem is that the entire film relies heavily on bland, prehistoric stereotypes for cheap laughs.
Mexico’s number one grossing domestic movie of 2017, Hazlo Como Hombre (Do It Like a Hombre), tells the story of Santiago (Alfonso Dosal), a closeted gay man who bravely comes out and finds a more rewarding life in the process. Sounds fine right? Nope. Our aforementioned lead role is Santiago’s best friend, Raul, a hypermasculine man’s man who brags about cheating on his pregnant wife, ridicules gay men, and takes medication for anger issues. Hilarious.
Raul and Santiago are best friends, so when Santiago reveals his secret, Raul’s world is turned upside down. With the help of his inept therapist, Raul goes on a cliched stages-of-grief plot and comedy ensues as we’re treated to typical “drop the soap” gags, puerile sex jokes that would make a Midwestern grandma yawn, and an endless parade of antiquated stereotypes the likes of which we haven’t seen since the last Carlos Mencia special.
We’re supposed to laugh as Santiago is physically abused by his former fiance, nod with understanding as a voice of reason describes Santiago’s sexuality as a “choice”, and feel sympathy for poor Raul when his wife finds out about his infidelity and leaves him. Clearly, the film attempts to have it both ways, advocating tolerance through Santiago’s newfound happiness while simultaneously ridiculing him through Raul’s viewpoint. Given Mexico’s ongoing battle for marriage equality, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that a movie advocating tolerance would be so popular, but Hazlo Como Hombre’s humor is so rooted in 90s style gay-panic and stereotypes that any progressive theme could be easily overlooked.
The visuals here are really nothing special. Camera shots or movements never add to the comedy. Typical flat wide shots and shot/reverse shots for dialogue. No issues with audio. The score mostly consists of dopey comedy stings, just in case you might confuse a scene where a woman loses her mind and punches her ex-fiance as anything other than funny.
A 30-minute making of the film featurette. Actually more engaging and entertaining than the film itself. The cast seems to get along great and the set seems to be loose and fun. Instagram dog filters abound. Wraps up with a lyric video for the title song, which is surprisingly catchy and the score’s one redeeming quality.
- Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
- Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
- English SDH
Runtime 109 Mins
Hazlo Como Hombre Overall (1.5/5)
Hazlo Como Hombre is out on DVD February 13, but I’d recommend listening to the latter portion of their fake M.P.A.A. warning: “Don’t try this at home”. The DVD is available from Amazon if you want to check it out for yourself.