200 Cartas: Looking For Maria Sanchez

Hector Nerio IV , Editor

Watch 200 Cartas | Prime Video
Still credit: 200 Cartas: Looking for Maria Sanchez, Vanguardia Films/Puerto Rico Film Commission , 2013

I don’t really look for Indie movies too much, but when I found out this one starred Lin-Manuel Miranda I was on board immediately. Disclaimer: this won’t be a biased review, even though he is a favorite of mine. I wasn’t able to have the full experience of the movie since most of it is in Spanish. While I was able to understand some words, I still had trouble with much of the communication.

The premise of the movie is that Raul is a struggling graphic artist who goes Puerto Rico to return a lost pendant to a beautiful woman he met and fell in love with while she was visiting New York.

Despite my language barrier, this is still a funny movie. Because this is a rom-com, there are a lot of hilarious moments and the actors display them well without the audience having to understand Spanish. One funny moment was when the main characters are in a neighborhood and it is clear this is supposed to be a shady neighborhood. I love that the moment the characters step out of their Jeep, everything is taken.

Audiences might recognize Mexican actor Jaime Camil, who recently starred in El Rey, a bio series where he portrays the “King of Rancheros” Vicente Fernández. This movie also stars the 1993 Miss Universe winner Dayanara Torres.

What I loved about this movie was also how it changed scenes; I really adored that comic strips are used as scene transitions and the creativity that brought. It felt like a breath of fresh air and something that hasn’t been done before.

The writing is also good because these characters seem like actual people with hobbies. It is very rare for movies (especially rom-coms) to have their characters have hobbies and have them play a part in the movie. Usually it is only brought up once as a filler and never brought up again, but in this movie Raul’s love for comic books is brought up may times and is the inspiration for the comic scene transitions. 

What did annoy me was that the audience never had a follow up from the characters within the movie. We don’t know if Raul’s graphic novel gets published or if he stays in Puerto Rico; since this movie was made in 2013 and it’s been 9 years without any follow-up so I doubt there will be a sequel. The answers to these questions must be left to the imagination. 

This is a really fun movie that I recommend if you just want to laugh. I give this 3/5 Frogs.