Meet a lean, teen, preening machine. Victor Rasuk plays the movie's titular Lower East Side Latino lothario, who finds lovely ice-queen Judy Marte his match in macking. The smooth-moving Casanova just wants to improve his street cred as a stud, but he has other problems to deal with: His bratty sister talks trash about him to friends; his younger brother is starting to experiment with masturbation; and his hysterically cantankerous grandma is convinced that raising Victor is akin to raising Cain.
Getting terrific performances from his nonprofessional cast, writer-director Peter Sollett has created an affecting, honest and humorous portrait of adolescence--one that crosses cultural and economic boundaries. Making the most of its tender silences, the film strips characters of their ghetto-tough facades to reveal the pain and uncertainty of a very difficult age. And, like, who can't relate to that?