Movie Review: Spanglish

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Published on: 2005.04.19

“Spanglish” was another worthwhile movie; I watched it tonight. That makes two in a row, counting “Ray,” from yesterday. I felt every moment. I have personally known those people. No, not the actors, silly. But the people that they were portraying; I’ve known those exact characters. And I’ve been more than one of them, in my life. It brought back memories, regrets, moments of happiness and fear, as well as confusion and loneliness. Maybe I’ll need to watch it again to see why it was called a “comedy.” It didn’t make me laugh much.

I think that the Tea Leoni character was supposed to make people laugh, but I was seriously involved with a woman exactly like that, so it wasn’t funny. They seem all right at first, and then you realize that they’re so caught up in the “drama” (which isn’t a catch phrase, by the way; it’s a real, horrible thing), that they can’t actually deal with real life. And the problems with translating between an English-speaking world and a Spanish-speaking mind were also probably supposed to draw some laughs, but I lived in San Antonio for nine years. Seventy percent of the people I knew had Spanish as a first language. They were hard workers, compassionate people, struggling to understand our crazy world — almost like another planet to them. So that wasn’t funny to me, either.

And maybe some people thought it was funny that Adam Sandler tried to play a serious role, but, again…. no laughs. He was GOOD. This is a brilliant man, somewhat like Jim Carrey, who can successfully make the transition from silly comedy to serious drama, because he actually understands life. The emotion was real, just as Carrey’s was in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Also, I have to disagree with the critics who said this was a failed attempt by (director) James L. Brooks to recapture the acclaim he won with “As Good As it Gets.” I’m sorry, but did any of these critics actually SEE “As Good As It Gets”? I did, and I wasn’t impressed. THIS film, though, took me to places, emotionally and mentally, that I needed to go. It blew Brooks’ other films out of the water, including “Jerry Maguire.” And it’s a far cry from his shabby attempts at humor on the old TV show “Taxi” (which many of you may be too young to remember). He achieved a great deal of success with “The Simpsons,” and rightfully so, because that’s brilliantly-written satirical piece of animation.

“Spanglish,” though was on another level entirely.

And yes, I’m enjoying my vacation, even though I won’t actually miss a day of work until I wake up in the morning. But I already feel more relaxed, more at home with myself, less pressured, etc. I know I have to go back in a week, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes, and I’ll be much more ready for it after these few days to myself. I accomplished several things on my checklist today (Yes, I have to have a checklist, or I’ll never get anything done.)

Tomorrow, I plan to spend most of the day completely rebuilding my website, and when I’m finished, I’ll let everyone know, and post a link on here. Hopefully, it will be better, more functional, and more productive than it is now.

You are the beautiful people.

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