The Perez Family

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For the Mexican film, see The Perez Family (1949 film).
The Perez Family
Perez family.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mira Nair
Produced by Julia Chasman
Robin Swicord
Screenplay by Robin Swicord
Based on The Perez Family
by Christine Bell
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
Edited by Robert Estrin
Greg Finton
Distributed by The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release date
  • May 12, 1995 (1995-05-12) (U.S.)
  • August 23, 1995 (1995-08-23) (UK)
Running time
113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11,000,000 (estimated)
Box office $2,832,826

The Perez Family is an American comedy film released in 1995 about a group of Cuban refugees in America who pretend to be a family. It stars Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Anjelica Huston, Chazz Palminteri, and other well-known actors. It was based on the 1991 novel The Perez Family (ISBN 0-06-097401-X) by Christine Bell. The film was directed by Mira Nair.

The premise was that a group of unrelated people, who happened to share the last name "Pérez", realized they could more easily stay in America if they pretended to be family. Set in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift, the movie shows Juan Raúl Pérez (Alfred Molina), a former aristocrat and newly released political prisoner, seeking to return to his wife, now in America, after 20 years. Dottie Pérez (Marisa Tomei) is a former prostitute, who Juan meets. U.S. Immigration officials assume the two are married, because of the common last name. The potential for a real romantic relationship between the couple sets the basis for much of the rest of the film.


Selective cast listing:

Archival footage of Jimmy Carter and Fidel Castro also appeared in the film.


The Perez Family received mixed reviews from critics, as it holds a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews.


The CD soundtrack composed by Alan Silvestri is available on Music Box Records, paired with his score for Clean Slate.

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