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Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

R | | Drama, Romance | 2 May 2003 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A Lower East Side teen-ager struggles to find some sanity while surrounded by an eccentric grandmother, a crazy new girlfriend, and a longing younger brother.

Director:

Peter Sollett

Writers:

Peter Sollett (story), Peter Sollett | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Rasuk ... Victor
Donna Maldonado Donna Maldonado ... Donna
Kevin Rivera Kevin Rivera ... Harold
Krystal Rodriguez Krystal Rodriguez ... Vicki
Judy Marte ... Judy
Melonie Diaz ... Melonie
Matthew Roberts Matthew Roberts ... Hector
Alexander Garcia Alexander Garcia ... Al
John Ramos John Ramos ... Macho
Theresa Martinez Theresa Martinez ... Judy's Mom
Altagracia Guzman Altagracia Guzman ... Grandma
Silvestre Rasuk ... Nino
Wilfree Vasquez Wilfree Vasquez ... Carlos
Randy Luna Randy Luna ... Pool Boy #3
Jeff Knite ... Pool Boy #4 (as Jeff Asencio)
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Storyline

Victor is growing up on the Lower East Side and is at the age where he is driven by desire and unchained by maturity. His image as a ladies man is shattered when he is found in Fat Donna's bedroom. Soon, as a result of his sister's big mouth, the whole Dominican community knows. Full of confidence, Victor sets out to reclaim his image by winning Judy. Judy proves to be elusive and difficult. Victor persists, and with a surprising tenderness, ultimately wins Judy's heart. Written by johnno.r@xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

2 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Long Way Home See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,166, 30 March 2003

Gross USA:

$2,078,661

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,816,116
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's working title was "Long Way Home". See more »

Quotes

Vicki: [to Victor] You'll always be known as Fat Donna's man. And that shit *will*... be funny.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Casado y Cansado (No Puedo Mas)
Written by Coati Mundi (as Coati Mundi Hernandez)
Produced by Coati Mundi
Performed by ManicPhonic Meltdown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Raising Victor Vargas
11 June 2012 | by awmurshedkarSee all my reviews

RAISING VICTOR VARGAS – 9.3/10

Director: Peter Sollett

Writer: Peter Sollett

With an unknown cast and coming from a debut director, the film turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Raising Victor Vargas is a 'coming of age' film, if one might call it that, but in every sense of the word, extremely mature. With no special effects or dazzling visuals, Raising Victor Vargas is a must watch for sakes of storytelling and scriptwriting.

The film revolves around the story of a youngster Victor Vargas, a Dominican teenager, played exceptionally well by Victor Rasuk. Victor, who is out to regain his image after word of his affair with a 'fat' girl leaks to the neighborhood. To rise to his old glory, he must win over the pretty Judy Marte ('Juicy' Judy Gonzalez). For most parts, the story is just that. While detailing it any further would lead to spoilers, watch out for the most interesting aspects of the film, which in this case are precisely those parts which seem least relevant.

The film manages to charm, delight and appease with the smallest of details, ones that are almost always overlooked in films seeking to be larger than life. It is as though the writer/director has understood the simplest secret of storytelling. He deals with nuances of the youth, the teenagers and their daily lives in a very refined and mature manner. Not succumbing to obvious temptations of problems facing the youth, the director dodges all the clichés, from drugs to violence, from rape to vengeance.

There isn't really much to say about the film. It is shot in a few locations, with limited characters and resources. Yet the performances are fantastic, the script is simple and funny, the acting is outstanding. The film flows from one scene to the next and very soon without actually realizing it, we are living the lives of the characters, laughing and smiling with them, cheering and hooting for them. Sadly, we haven't seen a lot from Sollett since 2002; hope he makes an appearance soon.


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