LDP stars in a very cheesy bio-pic about Richtie Valens
May 9, 2009
La Bamba (1987) was a bio-pic about a seventeen year old Chicano rock star named Ritchie Valens. His life and music career was cut short because of a plane crash he was involved with two other pop stars (Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson). But the star of this movie was Lou Diamons Phillips as Ritchie Valens. Even though he bore little resemblance to the real deal, he talked his role with earnest and zeal. Esai Morales (with a deep tan) co-stars as Bob his half brother. Rosanna De Soto co-stars as well as the boys mom, Brian Setzer makes a brief appearance as Eddie Cochran and Joey Pants plays Bob Keene (Ritchie's Svengali/handler/manager).
The movie plays with the facts very loosely and Los Lobos performs the music and appears in the film as a Tijuana club band. We learn about Ritchie's love for a girl named Donna, his fear of flying, his love for his mom and brother. But we also learn somethings about this movie that I don't even want to know more about. Ritchie and Momma V. playing touchy face with each other. The looks and the way Ritchie picked up his mother and buried his face in ...well judge for yourself. There seemed to be a bizarre love triangle between Bob, Ritchie and the mother. They should re-edit the movie or something. The more I see those scenes the more I am disturbed by it. Oh well something to think about the next time you watch it.
Overall this is a good movie. Watchable fun for people who want to know about the short but brilliant life of Ritchie Valens and his love and family life. This film launched Lou Diamond Phillips career, a all too brief career that came crashing down when the eighties ended. I wish a more accurate film was made about Ritchie Valens. But until then this will do!