I suppose if you detest Cubano jazz and Dizzy-style bebop you may resist the picture. But even then, I doubt it. Certainly jazz fans will have a gasser of a time with "Chico & Rita," and even casual admirers of the music have plenty to enjoy with this fizzy romantic saga set primarily in Havana and
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Part of the fun of this lushly scored and magical period picture, which really is the best music film in any genre in a long time, comes from seeing famous real-life jazzbos interpolated in the story.
You may find yourself thinking of Scorsese's "New York, New York" as you watch this turbulent, entrancingly corny piece unfold, as well as films that influenced Scorsese, particularly "The Man I Love" (1946). But "Chico & Rita" works fine without first-hand knowledge of its reference points. I love it.
No MPAA rating. Plays Friday-Thursday at the Siskel Film . In Spanish and English with some English subtitles. Running time: 1:34.