The Spanish language comedy Hazlo Como Hombre (“Do It Like An Hombre”) shattered records when it opened in Mexico. It only took 11 days to become the country’s number one movie of 2017 with $7.4 million and counting.
This weekend, the film opens in the U.S. so what made audiences flock to the film in Mexico, and will it resonate with American viewers?
Written and directed by Nicolas Lopez, Hazlo Como Hombre is a raunchy comedy about what happens when Santiago (Alfonso Dosal) comes out to his two friends, Raul (Mauricio Ochmann) and Eduardo (Humberto Busto).
The joke is on Raul who’s been macho and homophobic all his life. The world of 2017 is open and accepting of all sexualities.
“It’s a movie that nobody believed in,” Lopez said. “Everybody thought that it was going to be a niche film, especially because of the subject matter. Everybody was extremely afraid of this kind of comedy because in Mexico, most of the comedies they do are PG-13 or PG. So making an R-rated movie is like in the U.S. before Judd Apatow, before these R-rated comedies started being a trend.
“When the movie opened at number one and made three times more than Dunkirk and twice as much as Baby Driver, I went to the theaters that were packed and people were laughing and clapping, and seeing themselves on screen.”
Not only did Hazlo Como Hombre have audiences laughing and cheering, it also helped facilitate difficult conversations.
Social media reported many gay people coming out to their friends and families after seeing Hazlo Como Hombre together.
Lopez believes that audiences were able to see Raul was insensitive and ridiculous, and therefore people in Santiago’s situation felt safer coming out.
“The second weekend, we had 12 people coming out after watching the movie, and doing threads [on Twitter] telling the whole story,” Lopez said. “I got crazy DMs of people telling me that. They were very afraid the movie was going to be extremely homophobic, but because of the comedy and because it’s a movie most of their straight friends would go see, suddenly it ended up being a flood for being able to say who they are without being judged. All of that was caused by the movie.”
There is still a large Spanish speaking culture in the U.S. that Hazlo Como Hombre can reach, and English speakers who can benefit from its message. Mexico showed that even the most traditional regions were moved by the film.
“There are two states in Mexico, one of them is extremely conservative and another one is extremely gay friendly,” Lopez said. “Those were our two top markets. The movie was working in both parts.”
Hazlo Como Hombre opens September 1 in the U.S.