Saturday Night Premiere: Spanglish

Saturday, November 12, 2005

This week's Saturday night premiere comes to us from HBO. Spanglish is a movie I had heard about, but I really wasn't all too sure of what to expect from the film. When I see Adam Sandler, I automatically think comedy, but this movie – although had comedic moments, it was more of a drama, and Sandler also did well here. The movie also starred Tea Leoni and Cloris Leachman.

This movie tells the story of one women's life through a brief period in it. The story of her life is told through the words of her daughter Cristina, in the form of a college admissions essay sent years later to Princeton. The story is of a woman that comes from Mexico with her daughter to Los Angeles, looking to make a better life for herself and her daughter. After years of working and living in the Mexican area of the city, she knows she needs to do more for her daughter, and she takes on a job working for a family as a house keeper.

The father is a chef with a popular well-known restaurant, and the wife is a bit on the neurotic side, and I'm not sure what she actually does for a living. I'm not sure if it was mentioned in the movie. They have children nearing their teens, a son and a daughter. The wife's mother also appears to live with them.

At first, the woman, Flor, works at the home during the day hours. She doesn't speak any English, so this makes communication between the family and herself difficult. By the time the summer months come around, the family is ready to rent a beach house and move there for the summer months. This poses a problem for Flor because the mother wants her to move with them. The problem here is they didn't even know she has a child. Once that is discovered, Flor is persuaded to move both herself and her daughter with the family for the summer months.

Once the wife meets Flor's daughter, she takes the girl under her wing. I think because Flor's daughter is much like she wishes her own daughter were like. This causes more problems for Flor, and soon an even bigger problem becomes evident. The husband and Flor develop feelings for each other. Not only that but the wife comes out with the fact that she has had an affair behind the husband's back.

A tangled family living situation in this household, and one that Flor decides she no longer wants any part of. She decides to leave the job, the house, and to even pull her daughter Cristina out of the private school she had just enrolled in on scholarship.

This is a very touching family movie. I was expecting a comedy, but what we have here surpasses that. It is a touching story of one daughter's love for her mother, and why she admires her so much. I especially enjoyed how the daughter told this movie's story using her essay being read in a voiceover. How many of us that are old enough have had to write a college admission essay. So many of them are written, but very few reach the heart as this one does here. I'm also assured Cristina would be accepted to the college she applied to, in this case the prestigious Princeton. I would definitely recommend this movie on DVD. You won't be disappointed.

To see this movie for yourself you can check it out at Amazon.

For you Blogazoo folks out there, here is a gazoo.


cookies=true said...

I watched this last night, it was alright. When the girl repeated Adam Sandlers "shit," that was funny.

Mark Daniels said...

I watched this movie again last evening. (I first saw it some months ago.)

It has become one of my all-time favorites!

The script is wonderful, the characters well-developed and played well. The story is tremendous and I love the way all of the characters progress, moving to the point of making the right decisions for their lives, even while wrestling with making the wrong ones.

Sandler shocked me. I never knew he was such a good actor.

And Paz Vega was incredible!

Thanks for mentioning this great film here!

Mark Daniels

Heathen Dan said...

Indeed, casting Adam Sandler to a dramatic role would seem foolhardy. I mean, has anyone forgottem Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and even the Waterboy? But then, he started doing real acting roles. Punch-Drunk Love is quite a performance. 50 First Dates is a genuinely touching romance comedy. And Anger Management is infuriating and good. Spanglish is another great movie for him. With Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey transitioning from their comedic roots to more substantive flicks, Adam Sandler seems poised to follow suit. But unlike Carrey (and perhaps even better than Hanks), Sandler seems like a natural in dramatic roles. Kudos to Adam Sandler, and yes, do watch Spanglish!

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