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Spanglish (2004) August 31, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Uncategorized.

There’s few things more disappointing than defending something to all your friends, only to find it’s every bit as bad as they say. I loved As Good as it Gets, a classy, subtle rom-com, the likes of which is rarely seen, so I had high hopes for the new James L Brooks movie. This is the guy who helped create The Simpsons for goodness sake! How could he go so wrong? Maybe it’s because he wanted a drop of sugar but poured the whole tin in by accident. Or maybe it’s because he starts with a contrived ‘Princeton application’ narrative. Once the words ‘most inspirational person’ and ‘my mother’ are uttered, you know it’s downhill from there. Spanglish is embarrassingly saccharine, full of under-developed characters and far too many after-school-special moments. The delightful Paz Vega plays Flora, a Mexican single-mother trying to make a life for her daughter in the big old US of A. She comes to be a housekeeper for the dysfunctional Clasky family headed by insecure (annoying) Tea Leoni and sensitive (boring) Adam Sandler. It’s not long before her work and her homelife become intertwined and her daughter’s identity is lost in a sea of Americanisms. The concept of culture clash, intentions lost in translation and work-life balance is a good one but why oh why does it change into a run-of-the-mill stroy of mother-daughter bonding and the romance that could never be? I’ll forgive the acting; clearly the material is so bad it’s impossible to perform it with a straight face.



1. Anonymous - September 1, 2005

The words “so”, “you”, and “told” have never been more applicable….

Ah, the sweet smell of smugness

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