Rom-Com ‘Donaire y Esplendor’ Is Like ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Except Funny and Set in Panama

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Miami Film Festival
Courtesy of Miami Film Festival
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You’d be forgiven for thinking that Arturo Montenegro’s romantic comedy Donaire y Esplendor (Grace and Splendor) is a comedic telenovela seen through a gorgeous Instagram filter. Not only does this Panamanian carnival-set flick boast the likes of Lupita Ferrer (the OG Esmeralda!) and Lorna Cepeda (from Yo Soy Betty la Fea) but its protagonists are two Insta superstars who have a combined 825k followers!

The movie, which screened as part of the Miami Film Festival, is a Romeo and Juliet-like story of a young couple (called, Donaire and Esplendor) from feuding families who nevertheless fall in love. But lest that make it sound like old hat, the carnival of Las Tablas and Panama’s gorgeous beaches offer a colorful and hilarious backdrop unlike any you’ve seen. The family’s feud, after all, is fueled by a Mardi Gras-like pageant rivalry that involves insult song and dances and sequined dresses as opulent as you’d see in Rio. Leaning heavily into both the rom and the com part of its genre, Donaire y Esplendor wouldn’t succeed without the sizzling chemistry between its two leads, Gaby Garrido and Patrick Vollert. The two look exactly what you’d picture if I said “Instagram stars,” meaning they both look great in their swimsuits and even in the suggestive sex-by-a-waterfall scene that kicks up the film’s heat up several notches.

So, whether you’re meeting Gaby and Patrick (now a real-life couple!) for the first time, or whether you’ve been vicariously living through their perfectly art-directed selfies on the ‘gram, we wanted to single out some of their posts in case you were looking for more sun-kissed beautiful people to follow on the photo sharing site.

There's a reason there's a shower scene within the film's first minute.

You can't fake chemistry like this.

Fun fact: Patrick's tattoos are central to a key wooing scene in the film.

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Wingardium Leviosa.

A post shared by Patrick Vollert (@pvollert) on

Gaby's got some range—it's what earned her second place in Panama's Tu Cara Me Suena show (think Lipsync Battle).

Yes, we can't believe he's real either.

Some posts even come with behind-the-scenes dish!

Despite playing a recent grad student and a pig farmer's kid, Esplendor is just as stylish as Patrick.

It makes sense why much of the script would require both to be in just swimwear, no?

See? So much behind-the-scenes content!

Find you a man who'll take endless pictures with you where you'll both look insanely hot and in love.