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7 Festive Films to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Eugenio Derbez and Lorito Peralta in “Instructions not Included” from Alebrije Cine y Video.

Officially, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican people’s triumph over the French empire on May the 5th, 1862. But for many of us, Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican and Mexican-American culture with all of its charm and color. It’s also an excuse to consume our weight in tacos and margaritas, but I digress. Either way, it’s a day for all to enjoy.

So grab some super delicious Mexican take-out and get comfortable, because here are 7 festive films to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Under the Same Moon – Starz

The story of loved ones separated is not a new story for many families. Under the Same Moon tells this story, one of a young son and his mother trying to remain connected despite the miles that separate them, with unflinching emotion and heartache.

Coco – Rent or buy from $4.99 and up.

Coco is unwaveringly my favorite animated feature in years. It tells the story of a young Mexican boy trying to find his place in the world. While the film is centered on Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead celebration, it is still a great one to watch this Cinco de Mayo.

Instructions Not Included – Rent or buy from $3.99 and up.

Written, directed by, and starring the incomparable Eugenio Derbez, Instructions Not Included is the heartwarming tale of an unexpecting father trying to raise his little girl in a world that is foreign to him. If you have never seen Eugenio Derbez in anything before, you had better get used to him. While this is his first time crossing over for American audiences, this Mexican triple-threat is practically an institution in his home country. (And is currently starring in the gender-swapped remake of Overboard)

Real Women Have Curves – HBO

Otherwise known as the movie that made America Ferrera famous, Real Women Have Curves is a coming of age story about a young woman (Ferrera) who dreams of going to college, but finds that her family’s expectations and their financial situation may be an unwelcome road block to that aspiration.

La Bamba – DirecTV Now/Starz

This biopic about a young Ritchie Valens (played here by Lou Diamond Phillips) as he falls in love and discovers his destiny as a musician is overshadowed by the ultimate fate of the wide-eyed rock and roller.

Tortilla Soup – Amazon Prime/Hulu/Sundance/Doc Club

After raising three daughters, Martin, a single chef, is beginning to lose his sense of taste. Martin has one rule: Always be at Sunday dinner. No excuses. While his family abides by this wish, they always have a surprise or two in store for him when they get there.  

Fools Rush In – Crackle

After a reckless one-night-stand, straight-laced Alex and free-spirit Isabel find themselves in a situation of sorts. Pregnant with his child, the plan is for Isabel and Alex to part ways, but things don’t turn out quite as planned. The two marry, and the hilarity of pairing their families together, one memorable boat trip on Cinco de Mayo, and Alex attempting to win over Isabel’s brothers, all equal a charmingly sweet romantic comedy that is well worth the watch.

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