A young man from Puerto Rico comes to New York, invents a new sound called "Salsa" and becomes a major international music star, then suffers from drug addiction and dies from AIDS. Marc Anthony plays the lead character of Hector Perez who later changes his name to Hector Lavoe when he becomes a singer. He falls in love with a woman named Nina “Puchi” Roman Perez (played by Jennifer Lopez). He invents a new music style called "Salsa", which becomes immensely popular. Both Hector and Puchi use lots of drugs. Puchi looks for Hector in a rundown part of town. She finds him high on drugs. She cleans him up in the back seat of the limo as they drive to a gig. She wakes him up by giving him cocaine.
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Flashback to 1963 when Hector is with his father in Puerto Rico. His father says he will not support his decision to go to New York because Hector's brother died there. If Hector leaves Puerto Rico, his father will forget about him. Hector goes to New York anyway. He becomes a singer for a band. A record label gives him a record deal. They go on the road and party like crazy. Puchi comes to the recording studio. She finds Hector with another woman. She throws the woman out. She tells Hector she is pregnant. Hector proposes. Hector has a wild bachelor party and forgets to go to the church. Puchi goes to get him, wakes him up. Hector and Puchi get married on the spot.
Hector has a performance in the streets of Puerto Rico in front of a large crowd. Hector's band called “Fania” has gold record success. During the seventies Puchi and Hector have wild orgies and cocaine parties. Puchi comes home from the store and finds Hector's gun laying in the open. She finds the gas in the kitchen left on. She finds Hector with a needle in his arm, passed-out sitting on the toilet. Hector and Puchi have a fight. They make up. They fight. They make up. Hector gets famous with a solo career. Puchi comes home dressed nicely. Puchi says she was visiting her sister. Hector gets jealous. The Fania band has a reunion and play Puerto Rico again. Puchi and Hector's son go with him to Puerto Rico. They see Hector's father who tells him he knows about his crimes and drug use. He father tells Hector he does not want to see him anymore.
Hector finds out he is HIV positive from the drug use. Their son takes Hector's gun from the house and is killed by it when his friend is playing with it and it goes off by accident. Hector wants to break up with Puchi after their son's death, but she refuses. His career suffers. He is plays only small clubs to a few people. He goes back to Puerto Rico for a concert, which has very low attendance due to a competing free concert. A rainstorm forces the concert to be stopped after he sings only part of the first song. After the concert fails, Hector jumps off the balcony at his hotel attempting suicide. He survives the fall. He lives for another five years, however he eventually dies from AIDS. Puchi dies shortly thereafter from an accident. The movie closes with a flashback of a concert to a full house when Hector and Puchi were having good times.
Best part of story, including ending:
It is interesting to learn about the story of one man who invented the worldwide phenomena of salsa music.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene where Puchi, dressed in her finest clothes, goes to the run down part of town to find Hector high on drugs and brings him to perform at the show he is supposed to be at that night. It is amazing he is able to perform in such a condition and Puchi loves him so much to take such care of him when he is strung-out on drugs.
Opinion about the main character:
Hector is a very sad man and becomes more sad as the movie progresses. This movie is really depressing.