SPANGLISH (2004)

Spanglish Movie

 

Written & Directed By: James L. Brooks
Cinematography: John Seale
Editor: Richard Marks & Tia Nolan 


Cast: Adam Sandler, Paz Vega, Tea Leoni, Cloris Leachman, Sarah Steele, Shelbie Bruce, Phil Rosenthal, Thomas Haden Church, Angela Gothelas, Freddy Soto, Nichole Hiltz, Eric Schaefer, Spencer Locke, Sarah Hyland 


Flor emigrates to Los Angeles from Mexico in hopes of finding a better life for her and her daughter, Cristina. Hired by the John and Deborah Clasky as their housekeeper, Flor contends with the language barrier, Cristina’s budding femininity, and the eccentric Clasky’s way of life. 

The film has the required Adam Sandler elements where he is ultimately a nice guy. He is best at the work he does. Which proves to be the beginning of his problems and begins his neurosis, but it is also the rare film where Sandler doesn’t get the girl and is taken advantage of throughout and offers him no revenge to take out on anybody.

Which helps lead to the films theme of Mo money mo problems as success and money don’t buy happiness and leads eventually to more problems and have to really decide who you are. What type of person you are when it comes to family, love, obligations, romance, seduction, career, business.

Tea leoni struggles and gives hints to what makes her character tick but never quite is fully explained except that she seems to play the victim As an excuse for her outrageous behavior. She actually seems here more to be a comment on privilege and being so self involved she doesn’t see the damage she does in trying to help. She seems the films Designated villain burn also wants us to feel sympathy for her.

Cloris leachman’s character we get a hint or glimpse of her backstory. Though never fully explained, but seems so much richer and now she is trying to make up for it.

Paz Vega comes off well in a starring role. One of the Few completely written characters and roles in this film. As her and Sandler feel like full lived in characters. While the others come off as sketches or two dimensional. As like her character when we she got the role. She barely spoke English and had to speak to the director through a translator.

She is beautiful but works well in physical more comedic scenes. More about her character surviving in this household and foreign land for her and her daughters survival.

The film works well as a kind of ensemble.

The film seems to be about sacrifice and longing and how it might be necessary for the same of your kids and truly showing that you love them. Also exploring a family dynamic under one roof. When bringing in another that is meant to take care of most needs.

The characters are decent but never seem that they can be happy with romance due to caring about others.

The film has a warmth to it that keeps it moving and mellow. While having amusing scenes. It never makes it’s point it has strong enough scenes or situations that make It stand out. It always feels like it is setting up.

It’s an underrated film By James L. Brooks, but another one that feels liek a step down from his Classics though still the film still has the intelligence and energy that his films usually do and still bring some drama and laughs.

The film doesn’t have the happy ending or even a really romantic ending the audience might have wanted to see but as explained. The film is about more and not as simple when so many factors are introduced as the film introduces so many things to deal with and presents them gradually and domestically.

One of the most heartbreaking scenes is towards the end after a great night of hair conversation. When they have to say their farewell and she says it so eloquently with two words.

Appreciated that the film redirects her not as object of affection to list after only for looks but a full character with flaws. Whose main mission is to keep her daughter from the evil clutches of the lady of the house. Who takes interest in her and tries to design her to be a miniature version of her while neglecting her own daughter who isn’t As skinny.

GRADE: B

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