‘Pulling Strings’ a light-hearted, bilingual comedy

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Pantelion Films&squot; "Pulling Strings" Los Angeles Premiere
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR PANTELION FILMS – From left, Omar Chaparro, Aurora Paile, Laura Ramsey, Renata Ybarra, Pitipol Ybarra and Jaime Camil arrive at Pantelion Films’ “Pulling Strings” Los Angeles premiere at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 in Los Angeles. . (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for Pantelion Films/AP Images)


If something’s going to be cheesy, charm goes a long way. “Pulling Strings” thankfully has charm spilling from every frame.

Alejandro (Jaime Camil) is a single dad/mariachi from Mexico City desperate to send his daughter to the U.S. for a better life with her grandparents.

Rachel (Laura Ramsey), the U.S. official handling his case, denies him a visa, but luck comes Alejandro’s way when Rachel’s boss’ laptop is “lost” at his house.

Offering to “help” Rachel find her laptop, Alejandro sees his chance to make a case for his daughter’s visa.

Romance ensues, followed swiftly by crooning.

“Pulling Strings” has a light-hearted touch that never deviates from itself.

The actors benefit from this feel, shining in their roles with uninhibited goof-goof.

Camil as Alejandro is noble, charming, and witty, alluring enough for stiff, guarded Rachel to loosen up.

Ramsey’s comedic timing here is on point, but the sterling forks and knives here are the sidemen.

Omar Chaparro as “Canicas” is a likable letch, popping off one-liners in an over-the-top goo of come-ons, the film’s unlikely moral anchor.

Even the villains here are likable. Hapy and Nero — or “Hapi” (Roberto Sosa) and “Neron” (Carlos Macias) — bumble like villains from old comedy shorts, their underworld ties be damned.

There’s never a dry moment in “Pulling Strings,” and it’s for the better.

The musical performances here are high-end mellifluous.

If Camil isn’t singing his parts, he’s sure emoting the heck out of them, romancing everyone in-scene and out in the audience with his grizzled looks and soft, autumn eyes.

Audiences are safe bringing their significant others and/or spouses and kids for this cute feature.

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