Jennifer Lopez has heard the criticism of her new film “El Cantante,” in which she stars with husband Marc Anthony. But apparently, she’s heard just about enough.
“I don’t know what movie they want to see, because this is the truth,” Lopez told reporters during the film’s Hollywood premiere.
“El Cantante” follows the rise and fall of salsa legend Hector Lavoe (played by Anthony). Lopez plays his wife Puchi Perez.
And while fans and critics alike are blasting the project, which opened Friday after nearly six years of production, the harshest comments may be coming from those who knew Lavoe best.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, salsa singer Ismael Miranda, a Lavoe contemporary who actually plays his father in “El Cantante,” slammed the film for focusing too much on the artist’s drug abuse, which eventually led to his death from AIDS complications.
Lavoe’s former bandleader, partner and producer Willie Colon, who also served as a consultant on the film headed online to express his disappointment.
“The creators of ‘El Cantante’ missed an opportunity to do something of relevance for our community,” Colón wrote in a Yahoo.com forum. “The real story was about Hector fighting the obstacles of a nonsupportive industry that took advantage of entertainers with his charisma and talent. Instead they did another movie about two Puerto Rican junkies… It’s difficult to comprehend how two individuals who are in the music business like Marc and Jennifer are not aware of the damage and the consequences of promoting only the negative side of our Latin music culture.”
If that’s not enough, Colon later said it was Lopez’s character, Puchi, who led to Lavoe’s demise and for the film to focus on that relationship was a disgrace to the Latin legend.
“I believe that Puchi actually caused Hector’s downfall,” Colón said. “I never understood why he put up with such a negative, homely, vulgar person. The biggest crime is the canonization of Puchi so that Jennifer can play her.”