Jennifer Lopez must have thought she was doing something noble when she agreed to star in Gregory Nava's "Bordertown." An indie movie about a series of murders of young women in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez? A far greater thing than the usual big-budget romantic comedies she stars in, surely. Unfortunately audiences at the movie's premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival were not so convinced.
The first ominous signs came at the press screening on Thursday afternoon, when the film was booed by the audience, apparently annoyed that Nava had decided to make a B-movie thriller out of such a tragedy. Then there were boos during the official premiere on Thursday evening, and applause at the end was muted. J-Lo looked visibly upset.
Reviews in the German papers Friday were hardly any more complimentary. "Actually the subject matter is important," writes the mass circulation BZ. "But one can't take La Lopez seriously in her role for a single moment: She simply too cute and too J-Lo!" The newspaper rates the movie's chances of winning a Golden Bear award as "slim."
The Berliner Zeitung says the film is "funny, but unintentionally" reporting that viewers at the press screening had reacted with "frenetic laughter" at supposedly serious scenes. However the film is also "pretty distasteful" at the same time: the critic accuses J-Lo of exploiting the real suffering of the Mexican women in order to become a star in the Central American market. "It's no coincidence that the film is coming out at the same time as her new record, the first where she sings entirely in Spanish," the paper writes.
Still, J-Lo can take some solace in the fact that at least Amnesty International likes the movie: she was awarded the human rights non-governmental organization's "Artists for Amnesty" prize on Wednesday evening in recognition of her role in publicizing the murders.
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