Instructions Not Included

not included

Eugenio Derbez was for the longest time my family’s entertainment every Sunday afternoon when we watched “La Familia Peluche”. Eugenio Derbez was born in Milpa Alta, Mexico. He is an actor, writer, director and producer with a degree in Film Directing from the Mexican Institute of cinematography and Theater. In 2013, he produced a film by the name of Instructions Not Included where he plays the role of Valentin.  This comedy’s target audience is Latinos, since the movie is mainly in Spanish and many jokes are based on Mexican culture. Throughout the movie there is a theme of fear, every time that Valentin comes across problems or adverse situations he sees wolves. His father had taught him not to be afraid of anything but there will always be situations where we are not prepared for.

One of Valentin’s fear early in the movie is having to go to the United States without knowing English and not having legal documentation. This fear is faced by so many people that come from Mexico and other parts of the world. As Valentin is leaving Acapulco he mentions to his daughter the difference between living in Mexico and the United States. In Mexico there is violence and poverty, people want to leave this behind but they fear the same thing as Valentin. People come to the United States to accomplish the American Dream and just like Valentin they had to struggle and work difficult jobs. All of these sacrifices and it can all be for nothing. I have relatives and friends that live in fear of being deported. They try to live a normal life but it must be hard knowing that at any given day life in the United States can come to an end.

Valentin has bigger problems in the movie but this is what I can relate to the most. Everyone trying to accomplish the American dream can relate to this great movie. Your emotions will be on a rollercoaster while watching it, at points funny and happy and then life hits you.

“Biography.” IMDb., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017

Armitage, Hugh. “Instructions Not Included sets US record.” Digital Spy. N.p., 11 Aug. 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.



  1. I absolutely love this movie! Eugenio Derbez is a wonderful actor and is also very loved in my family. This is such a wonderful movie because while it does mainly target latinos, I believe a lot of different people can relate to this movie in one way or another. I agree the main theme is Valentin has to overcome his fears, and sometimes life does throw some things that we are just not expecting. One of great things about this movie is its very real, it isn’t sugar coated and his determination to jump through obstacles in order to be a better father is very relatable and admirable. Almost everyone fears something and to see how Valentin overcomes his fears throughout the movie is something everyone should witness.


  2. I can relate to your post since my husband is also an immigrant, and has shared with me some of the experiences he had to endure when he came to this country as an illegal immigrant before he finally obtained his permanent legal status. It was very scary for him and his family while they were living in this country without any legal documents, and I remember him describing to me that they could not even get a normal apartment because they did not have the documentation to present for the application process of an apartment. I also remember him telling me that his mother always told him not to speak to the neighbors or to his teachers about his legal status for the fear that these people would turn them into the authorities for deportation. You are right when you said that life in the United States for people without documentation could end at any moment because it is something my husband lived, and feared during that time of his life.


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