MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +3

Selena tells the true story of the meteoric rise of the young Mexican-American singer whose short life ended tragically in 1995. But the film is more a musical love story than a tragedy. It's about the public's love for radiant Selena Quintanilla Perez (Becky Lee Meza as a youngster, Jennifer Lopez as an adult), who inspired other Latinos to overcome cultural prejudices. It's about the love of the Quintanilla family who shared Selena's remarkable dream. And it's about the deep love between Selena and her husband, Chris (Jon Seda). Many elaborate, colorful musical numbers feature Selena's own voice and add sparkle to the film, especially for Tejano music fans. Selena's father, Abraham (Edward James Olmos), is the driving force behind his daughter's career. His devotion to his family is particularly touching, and when Selena falls in love, it's almost more than he can bear. His old-fashioned, traditional ideas make it difficult for him to accept his daughter appearing on stage in costumes he considers daring. A family film honoring the Hispanic community is long overdue, but Selena does more than that. It pays tribute to all minorities determined to make the American dream a reality while it offers first-rate entertainment.

The closeness of the Quintanilla family is particularly refreshing. They share a love of music, and Selena's brothers and sister cheer her on with no trace of jealousy as she becomes famous. Dad knows too well that his English-speaking family is too American to be accepted in Mexico and too Mexican to become respected musicians in their hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. As a young man he was subjected to cruel prejudice that prevented him from making it as a musician. But Selena's talent and charm break down barriers on both sides of the border. Her last concert in 1995 packed the Houston Astrodome, and thousands of fans mourned her death with candlelight vigils. Abraham is a strict but loving disciplinarian who almost loses his daughter's respect when he tries to break up her relationship with Chris. He also fiercely objects to her appearing on stage in what Selena calls a bustier and Dad calls a bra. Although Chris and Selena fell in love while traveling together in the family bus, they do not become sexually involved before marriage. Only one mildly crude word and one exclamatory profanity are spoken. It's a delight to recommend this family film that tells an interesting, true story without the usual embellishments of foul language, sex, nudity or violence.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once - Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once - Exclamatory

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None; near nudity many times with daring costumes

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Singer dances in a slightly suggestive manner

Drugs: None

Other: Strong family values emphasized

Running Time: 131 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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