Movie Review for Instructions Not Included

Instructions Not Included  Instructions Not Included

Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Jessica Lindsey, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Alessandra Rosaldo

Directed by: Eugenio Derbez

Rated: PG-13

Run Time: 115 mins

Genre: Comedy/ Drama


Opens August 30th


By Lisa Minzey of The Reel

Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week is the directorial debut for Eugenio Derbez, the man dubbed the “Jim Carrey of Mexico”, the film “Instructions Not Included”. Derbez is a superstar south of the border but how will American audiences respond to his brand of comedic humour?


Preying on the tourists and local ladies of Acapulco is a specialty of Valentin (Eugenio Derbez). A player to the core, he received the shock of his life when a past fling, an American named Julie (Jessica Lindsey) shows up on his doorstep one day, hands him a baby and then goes out to pay the cab. She never comes back. Now stuck with a child, he’s not even sure is his, Valentin tries to track down Julie. The only piece of information that he has, is that she is headed for Los Angeles, so Valentin and this baby accomplish impossible feats illegally crossing into the U.S., where by a stroke of luck he finds work in the movie business. Over time,  the baby grows into a rambunctious little girl, Maggie (Loreto Peralta) who desperately wants to know her mother. Valentin tries his best to protect her from the truth, creating a fictional version of her mother as a world traveler on all these missions. When Maggie’s mother finally shows back up in her life for real, the fantasy life that he built for himself and Maggie is at risk as Julie is back to seek custody of her child. Will the courts rule in favor of the devoted father or absentee mother?


What is billed as a comedy and having the main star billed as a “Jim Carrey” type figure, a high bar is set in comedic expectations. Although Eugenio Derbez may be a comedic genius in his country, his brand of humor doesn’t quite translate as well from one language to another. Some of the jokes were tired and rather offensive. Aside from the physical comedy which looked rather painful at times, the film turn a hard right into tragic dramedy which dissolves, the light hearted banter/ good feelings conjured up through much of the first and second acts. The twist at the end, although unexpected really changes the mood of the viewer. I’m not sure if they were trying to pull the heartstrings like “Liar, Liar”, “Three Men and a Little Lady” or “Mrs. Doubtfire” but it went a little too far, too much drama to overshadow the comedy. You be the judge when “Instructions Not Included” opens in theaters starting Friday August 30,2013.