About Flamin’ Hot (2023 Movie)
Flamin’ Hot is a movie adaptation of the story of Richard Montanez going from a troubled youth to a hugely successful director of cultural marketing at Frito-Lay. The movie is the directorial debut of Eva Longoria, written by Lewis Colick, Linda Yvette Chávez, and Richard Montanez, and stars Jesse Garcia, Tony Shalhoub, Annie Gonzalez, Dennis Haysbert, and Matt Walsh. Flamin’ Hot is currently streaming on Hulu has a run time of 99 minutes and is rated PG-13.
Flamin’ Hot Review
There is no short-list of rags to riches stories pushing the narrative that “The American Dream” is alive and well, so long as you make the effort. What is the effort though? Is it a time of unpaid internship, unpaid time trying to study a larger craft before and after an employed shift, creating something new, or all of those combined and a bag of chips? Flamin’ Hot has us jumping head-first into a comically and well-dramatized version of Richard Montanez’s story of going from a drug dealer to a director of multicultural marketing.
The movie shows us that he tried to keep a life of joy sparked by looking beyond the wall the world puts up around us daily and turning it into a sale. We go through Richards’s life as a child on a vineyard, through his days as a gangbanger, and into becoming maintenance/janitor for a Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga. During his life he enjoys tinkering with electronics to bring them back from the dead, so naturally he sees the factory as magnetizing to his childlike curiosity.
We also see elements of struggle within the family on display, from conquering the levels set by others, lifting up those that are not accepted as they are, and having to decide if the easier choice is the one holding us down. The movie finds ways to awaken the feelings of motivation, imagination, and ambition, ways of telling us that even when we’ve been defeated for years stacked and consecutive, it takes a day to turn it around. That said, they don’t hide the time Richard spent in his role as maintenance/janitor, to balance out trying to fly at the sun full force.
One thing that the movie captures pleasantly is the relationship between Richard, his wife, and their children. They stay together even when they must weather storms the size that could sink Atlantis. They show us that our sacrifices don’t have to be made for ourselves but in an effort to build others that truly return the favor. A depiction of love through labor, compromise, and joy, not just staying to stay.
The movie delivers in so many areas that you wouldn’t believe this was Eva Longoria’s debut as a director. She, the writers, and the producers assemble a terrific cast that gives us the right emotion for the right events and give us the “What if?” situations correctly. I look at the media I consume and generally, movies are rarely watched below an R rating as I find that it allows emotional expression to drive the points home, however, this PG-13-rated flick, manages to do it so well.
If you are in the market for a nice pick-me-up, have a couple of hours budgeted for entertainment, and enjoy some laughs, history, and culture, this is a great watch. I think there would be very few cases of someone watching this where the viewer is left feeling displeased and those cases are in alignment with snobbery. As the guys that enjoy the Flamin’ Hot and spicy side of food, seeing how the brand got there was a majorly enlightening experience.
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