1 February 2008 | troywhigham
Inspired by Latin soap operas; but without the talent
"Husband For Hire" is a good idea executed with mediocrity, and the blame isn't just with the lead acting. I can only hope that Mark Consuelo's bad southern accent wasn't his idea, and if it was then it should've been caught by the director and changed to something closer to his normal tone. But this isn't the only distraction from an otherwise family-safe made-for-TV movie. Tempestt Bledsoe as the overworked, overstressed personal attorney popping speed pills to stay awake is an out-of-date gag that should be allowed to fade away back to the '80s, and shows that she's lost her comedic timing, not that she had to stretch her skills much on "The Cosby Show". Aside from poor performances, the poor timing between most of the jokes in the movie can be blamed on poor editing.
Most of the plot feels like it was derived from the light comedic fare popular in most Hispanic telenovels. There's the bride trapped in a wedding not of her choosing, the reluctant groom, the overbearing parent, the conniving sister, the clown sidekicks (literally), the jilted ex-lovers, the well-meaning assistants, the business empire, fancy cars, and designer clothes, and the age-old question of marrying for money or love. The only things missing from the recipe are the confused nun/priest and a cute kid or animal.
Erik Estrada and Nadine Vasquez turn in solid performances, as does Jayce Bartok as "Bread", the adopted white brother of Mark Consuelo's character Bo, who was adopted by white parents (which becomes a running gag in a racist jokeline that was overplayed). In fact, I think Jayce Bartok's comedic sidekick moments are the better pieces of fresh material in the whole movie. Mario Lopez is well cast as the "pretty boy" ex-boyfriend, and he plays up the Menudo jokeline well (it's good to see he gets to use his "Dancing With The Stars" experience). Slightly-built Kate Micucci also does a good job as the ex-girlfriend's sidekick, in a performance reminiscent of Don Knotts' work, if you like clown comedy.
Other than the aforementioned bits by Bartok and Lopez, there really isn't anything new for viewers of Telemundo daytime television, other than the script is written in English for us gringos.