Feb 16, 2012

Spanglish, 2004

Spanglish, 2004
Director: James L. Brooks
Cast: Tea Leoni, Adam Sandler, Paz Vega

Stage: Home Theatre, TV selection of the week

Spanglish in short:John Clasky is a devoted dad whose skills as a chef have offered his family a very upscale life, including a summer home in Malibu and a breathtaking new Mexican housekeeper, named Flor. She and her daughter Cristina have recently emigrated to L.A. from Mexico and are trying to find a better life. When they move in with the Claskys for the summer, Flor has to fight for her daughter's soul as she discovers that life in a new country is perilous!

Preps: Wanted to see this several times, because I was told it was a good one. Never had the opportunity until now.

Reality: mmmm, music by Hans Zimmer, one of my favourites. The music is really good, although in this piece doesn't have the same value as in several where his music is really put on the pedestal. But it gives the movie a romantic sense and touch, so you feel quite safe and loveable while it poses down your veins.
The second surprise is the duet Tea Leoni and Adam Sandler. As I saw Sandler in some movies, he strikes me more of a family romance type of movie. Or a "chick" movie per se. Which means that this should be his genre and definitely feels very comfortable in the shoes of a modern guy that gets a good looking girl at the end, as a reward for being a good guy. As oppose to his wife, who screws it up and finds herself alone and miserable.

The funny part of the story is tackled right at the beginning. Being a maid and serve for a family that doesn't understand a word you are saying (and vice versa) gives a playground for many funny scenes so the director really took good advantage of those. Plus, all of those scenes are really easy to penetrate into your mind and make you laugh. The beauty of the new maid gives a flashy add on to those scenes and at the end you are just waiting for the chemistry to happen. I might add that during the movie you don't really have the feeling of some attractions going on between the two.
On the opposite side, we have a battle between a poor mum that loves her child and a rich mom that wants the best and needs to buy it. Something we see in Desperate housewifes developed to the last bit :) But in this case, there are serious disputes, deriving from the limits that poor people have, regarding education, home supplies, modern devices, etc. And the influence that these can have on a child. A good ground for you to think about it and what would you do if you were in her shoes.

The jump into this story serves as basis for university entry from the only child the spanish maid has. And the story how her mother was her biggest influence and inspiration. Sort of a tribute to mum. Therefore, all of mothers that are dying to get praised by their children, are definitely a target audience for this piece. And the message, that there is no love like mother's love, shines through.

My personal rating: 6,5 (a solid romantic piece about making a better future. Or to reason with the teenage child, if that is even possible).

Spanglish on IMDB

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