The Princess and the Barrio Boy
Showtime // G // $19.98 // April 9, 2002
Review by Earl Cressey | posted May 13, 2002
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Review:
The Princess and the Barrio Boy

Movie:
The Princess and the Barrio Boy debuted on Showtime during 2000 and was directed by Tony Plana. The film stars: Marisol Nichols (Sirena), Nicholas Gonzalez (Sol), Edward James Olmos (Nestor), Maria Conchita Alonso (Minerva), and Pauly Shore (Wesley).

Fifteen-year-old Sirena has the ability to be an Olympic swimmer, but with her father set to marry a woman she despises, she can't concentrate on swimming. For help, her instructor pairs her with Sol. While the two are almost complete opposites, her being from a rich family and him being from East L.A., they soon find themselves in love. However, her father doesn't approve of the relationship and her step-mother-to-be has plans of her own to keep them apart.

The Princess and the Barrio Boy is a film that tries too hard to do too many different things. It has a coming of age plot and a romance between two teenage opposites, with an evil stepmother and a dose of angst thrown in for good measure. After viewing it, its hard not to think of the film as a watered-down Disney version of crazy/beautiful. Marisol Nichols, who plays Sirena, is a really a bit too old to portray a girl of fifteen believably. Also hampering the film is the acting, which ranges from mediocre to poor, with Pauly Shore's role, as a wedding planner, easily the worst of the bunch.

Picture:
The Princess and the Barrio Boy is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer has its fair share of problems, with specks, lines, and grain all making appearances. The print used is also faded in areas, which is particularly distracting when it occurs in different shots of the same scene. Colors are seldom vibrant and mostly muted, with natural to slightly muted flesh tones. Blacks range from too light to decent, though are never rich.

Sound:
The Princess and the Barrio Boy is presented in Dolby 2.0 Stereo in English and French. The stereo track adequately presents the material for the exception of the film's dialogue, which can, at times, sound tiny or hollow. There are no optional subtitles.

Extras:
Extras include filmographies for the main actors, a photo gallery, and excerpts from other Showtime releases.

Summary:
The Princess and the Barrio Boy is a film best viewed, if at all, on TV, as the film and its presentation on DVD are both lacking. Skip it.



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