Posts Tagged ‘Penelope Cruz’

Spanglish – movie review
I recently watched the rom-com Spanglish (2004).  The movie is about a moderately wealthy “Anglo” (white American) family which hires a young Mexican female housekeeper and the issues the family faces as their maid is becoming acclimated to wealthy but dysfunctional America.  Although marketed as a “romantic-comedy”, the movie is actually not very funny – and certainly not “ha-ha” funny.  The movie stars Adam Sandler as the husband – who happens to be a world class chef, Téa Leoni as the unemployed and neurotic wife, and Paz Vega as the maid – who initially speaks no English.  The “framework” of the movie is provided by the voice narration of the maid’s daughter describing the most important person in her life (her mother) on a college application essay.
The movie is over a decade old, so it’s probably pretty safe to give away most of the plot, but I won’t (too much).  Suffice it to say, the wife is bored and begins having an affair (off camera).  The husband finds he has little in common with his wife and, although he continues to adore her, he finds he is slowly but surely being attracted to the maid.  When he finds out about his wife’s affair, he decides to pursue his affection for the maid.  The couple share a meal at the husband’s restaurant and almost, but not quite, consummate their budding romantic relationship.  They decide they cannot – for the families – and the young maid quits her job with the family and (presumably) returns to living in the Los Angeles barrio (with her daughter).
Despite my earlier statement that this is not a “very” funny movie, it is surprisingly satisfying.  I enjoyed it tremendously!  I am not a fan of Adam Sandler.  I have only seen him in a few roles and, by and large, have not found him funny.  I don’t know if this is his first “serious” role or not, but I now feel as if I must go back and re-watch some of his other works, because he is just THAT good in this role.  Téa Leoni and Paz Vega are also both excellent in their roles.  I must admit I only remember Téa Leoni in one other movie role – the newsperson in “Deep Impact” – and it was very nice to see her in another solid performance.  Given the movie is over ten years old, I am surprised I have not seen more of Paz Vega because the camera absolutely loves her.  She reminds me of a much younger Penélope Cruz.  Anyway, I don’t think I’ve seen Ms. Vega in anything else.
So, final recommendation – strong recommendation.  The movie captures the “immigrant” story quite well – the arc if not the normally terrifying detail.  The adult (and child) acting is good to very good.  The story is well developed and I don’t mind admitting I’ll be re-watching this movie again, in about a year, after I’ve had a chance to see a few of Adam Sandler’s other roles.
On This Day In:
2015 All Omissions Are Mine
2014 Precise Order
2013 Uh, No. Not Really…
Deep Regions
2012 A Pre-Valentine’s Day Message
2011 Easy Like Sunday Morning
May I Have A Little More, Please…
2010 Valleys and Peaks

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Today, James and I went to see “Pirates of the Caribbean (4): On Stranger Tides“.  It’s another of the summer block-busters and it’s basically pure Disney entertainment.  The reviews I saw were BAD, but the movie I saw was good…  Go figure!  It doesn’t have the originality of the first and it’s missing two of the three main characters, but the main man (Johnny Depp) aka Captain Jack Sparrow is there and he pretty much carries the movie.  The romantic interest is played by Penelope Cruz and she’s ok.  The camera still loves her, but they are both just a little too old for these roles.  The action is not as swashbuckling as in prior editions, but it’s still ok.  I say that because the scenes seem to lack the spontaneity of the first two.  Like the third, they are starting to become set pieces always calling forth the Pirates Theme music.  Still, both James and I found it very entertaining and a good summer flick.  I’ll definitely add it to the other three when it comes out on DVD.
I’ve added three songs to my Poems page:  Patches, This Ain’t Nothin’ and Tough.  The first (Patches) is a song I remember from my teens (1970 – although it seems like it’s from an earlier time).  Some vague memory came back to me and I looked it up on Google and YouTube and found it.  The song was originally performed by Chairmen of the Board, but it’s the Clarence Carter version which I remember.  His voice still haunts me when I hear this song today.  If you’re too young to know this song, you have GOT to go listen to it on YouTube!  (Check out the lyrics first…)
The second and third songs are performed by Craig Morgan.  He’s not a real big country star on my radar (yet).  I guess because he’s only been around for about ten years, but he keeps putting out songs I like.  These two are about loss (“Nothin’“) and almost losing (“Tough“) and what really matters most in life.  I admit I’m a softy and both of these songs make me cry.

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