Movie Review: Immigration Tango
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Immigration Tango
DIRECTED BY: David Burton Morris
WRITTEN BY: David Burton Morris, Martin L. Kelley
STARRING: Elika Portnoy, McCaleb Burnett, Carlos Leon, Ashley Wolfe
Roadside Attractions
RELEASE DATE: February 18th, 2011 (limited)

Immigration is a major hot button topic in this country, which of course makes it the perfect situation to base a romantic comedy around!

Immigration Tango follows two couples — Elana (Elika Portnoy) and Carlos (Carlos Leon) and Mike (McCaleb Burnett) and Betty (Ashley Wolfe) — and best friends in Miami. Elana is Russian and Carlos is Columbian — both in the country on a visa. But when a job interview goes horribly wrong for Elana, immigration is called and she faces deportation.

Pondering any options the group of friends might have, it’s decided that there’s only one way: American citizens Mike and Betty will play couple swap and marry their foreign best friends so they can both stay in the country. Though it might have seemed like the best option at first, being highly illegal it’s not long before the authorities are on to them and making things very complicated. Add to that some unexpected feelings coming to the surface and this quartet of friends have themselves an obstacle course to run.

While the premise behind Immigration Tango is intriguing, the overall delivery was decidedly underwhelming. You’d think two couples swapping partners and marrying each other in order to legally keep immigrant friends in our country would present a lot of hilarity, but unfortunately the laughs are few.

As a movie in general, most of the story and characters are pretty stale and nothing about it feels natural, causing the flow to be severely restricted. There’s times when you catch a glimpse of life from the performances, but most of the time it seems like minimal takes were used instead of the director pushing to get the emotions necessary to purvey realism. As things move along, it’s also not at all difficult to figure out where they’re going with the story, so when it all comes together it’s a bit anti-climactic.

All of that said, Immigration Tango as an indie romantic comedy isn’t all bad. You’re not going to praise anything about it or quickly tell your friends to watch it, but again, the concept is decent so there’s some entertaining moments scattered throughout (even though getting from one situation to the next can be over-the-top). The negatives surely outweigh the positives, but it’s not unwatchable and you can find yourself chuckling from time to time. If you can get past the low-quality feel, some people should be able to find some good entertainment value here.


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