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91 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Saved My Date

9/10
Author: dell-1
17 August 2001

This is a good romantic style of film which makes it a good date movie. I was on a first date when I saw this movie. Something about this movie "Clicked" with both of us. It really draws you into to the whole idea of romantic love. The two leads are hot on screen which leads to much heat in the audience.

Anyway, my date and I met for coffee before the movie and everything was a little uneasy. But when we left the movie, we ended up talking for hours about the situations in the movie. All I can say is that because of Gabriella we are still seeing eachother a few weeks later. This is pretty good in my book. When is the video coming out?

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84 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Quality independent film

10/10
Author: (rubenfabioguevara) from Los Angeles, CA
7 July 2002

Overall, I think this is a very good film. I think some of the performances are better than others - Troy Winbush and Lupe Ontiveros are hilarious! The story is a simple one, but it keeps you guessing - I really didn't know what the character of Gabriela would do in the end. The film keeps you entertained throughout with a sense of humor and some off the wall characters. You can tell the film was an independent film, with a few of the scenes a little grainy, but visually it is quite impressive. I definitely recommend people check this one out.

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86 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

More Like This One Please!

10/10
Author: (MovieObsession@depechemodemail.com)
17 July 2002

This is a beautiful romance with great acting as well as beautiful visuals. Beauty is not skin deep as we see the characters struggle with their fears and insecurities about love.

A thoughtful romantic movie, this goes far beyond the typical soapy romance. The characters struggle with love while they try to help those lost in life at the mental clinic where they work. In an endearing moment one of the disturbed patients is diagnosing the professional, telling her that she's not happy.

The movie is a beauty to watch too. The lighting is lush and stylized which works great with the gorgeous production design. This aspect is unusual for a love story.

A great find... Please make more like this one!

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83 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful Love Story

10/10
Author: Debrah from Los Angeles
20 February 2003

"Gabriela" is one of those rare treats: a love story that is genuinely heartfelt and without the sentimentality that plagues so many romantic comedies.

Perhaps this is the result of the movie being an independent film and done outside of the studio system, which leads one to wonder why there isn't more independent love stories being produced nowadays and instead the independent film movement seems stuck in Tarantino-ersatz mode.

I am saying that to emphasize how much I appreciate the kind of movie that Vincent Miller, who also produced the film, clearly a good move to preserve his vision, has given us today. It's all the more remarkable that it is his first feature film. Rarely have I seen a first film of a director that feels so accomplished (yes, I know, there is Citizen Kane, but how many more are there, certainly not that many recently).

A film would be dead in its tracks without good actors and Jaime Gomez is a revelation and I hope to see a lot more of him in the future.

Seidy Lopez is also excellent, and it's nice to see her get a much different part from what she did in "Mi Vida Loca".

Finally a special mention for Stacy Haiduk, who's an actress I've always liked, and the reason I rented the film after seeing she was in it, and she completely steals the scene she is in (no offense to Jaime who gallantly serves up the scene for her with lots of sensitivity) and should have gotten some sort of award if they only had a Cameo of year or something like that.

Great film. I'll see it again with great pleasure.

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84 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Independent Film

10/10
Author: Stacy Kancheli from United States
11 January 2005

This is the way independent films were meant to be. Far for the small blood-lusting crowd of people aching to see yet another body part be sliced away in a new "art" film, "Gabriela" delivers a great story with real characters.

Clearly made for very little money, "Gabriela" delivers the look and feel of a "real" movie which in these days of amateurish-looking videos passing as films is high praise indeed.

But it delivers much more: great acting, a compelling story that actually feels real and heartfelt and a wonderfully evocative music score.

People who are lucky enough to discover this gem will remember for a long time a number of the great little moments of the film.

Hopefully, a harbinger of better things to come in independent films, "Gabriela" made me feel that keeping an eye out for new releases wasn't a complete waste of time.

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84 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Rocked My World When I Needed It

9/10
Author: Fuzzy Bear (fuzz@mailpanda.com) from New York, NY
26 July 2002



This movie really made me feel happy about love and life at a time when I really needed it. I guess I have always been that way about movies, especially romantic movies. At first I did not think I was going to get into it, but along the way, I really got into it. It restored my faith in love. What can I say? It is just one of those movies for me.

I can't relate to people who don't like this and other movies about love. Sometimes I think those people who hate love stories are mean spirited, angry and basically lonely. (Hello, they are lonely for a reason). But anyway people like me who like romantic movies will like this one.

I like the acting and found it very emotionally real. I did not know the actors by name but I knew all of their faces. This movie restored my faith in love and life. I gave this movie a 9 out of 10.

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64 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Great Love Story with Humor and Wit

10/10
Author: steven-101 from Los Angeles
13 February 2001

"Gabriela" is a great love story with intense emotion and also a lot of humor. This movie is in the tradition of great love stories like "Moonstuck", "Pretty Woman" and "Jerry McGuire". I can't tell you how long it's been since I saw a romantic film that I liked as much as this one (and I see lots of movies). I like the sense of reality of the situation, which involves a love triangle, with very believable people.

The movie is a joy to watch for many reasons, ranging from the great acting, to beautiful lighting. This is an independent movie that glimmers and shines. It has none of the cynical smugness of some of the so-called independent movies I have seen in the past few years. It has none of the sick and twisted weirdness of some of the other indie films that have been out lately. There is also a lot of humor in the movie as well. "Gabriela" is a good, engaging movie.

The story has a rich setting with great characters. The setting is unusual for a love story, since the main characters work as social workers at a mental health clinic. The patients are going through real issues as the main characters fall in love. Friends and relatives try to interfere with the lovers at every step of the way. They present a number of points of view about love and relations which give the film a great context that is usually missing in the garbage usually passed off as a Hollywood love story.

Jaime Gomez and Seidy Lopez create excitement on the screen while they deal with real human emotions. Gomez plays a tough but sensitive leading man (not a wimpy indie lead). Seidy plays a softer, more sensitive role than usual and is breathtaking as Gabriela. It was a pleasure to see some of my favorite actors appear as memorable characters. Lupe Ontoveros was a joy to watch as Gabriela's frantic grandmother. Lemont Bently shines as a mental patient.

While this movie is a quality film, it is very entertaining, every step of the way. I will definitely see this movie again.

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32 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Great Humanistic Character-Centric Movie

10/10
Author: (motionpics) from california
2 July 2001

Being a big fan of character-centric films with believable characters, I liked Gabriela. This movie has qualities rarely seen in recent years, being a humanistic portrait of characters with complex emotional issues.

Hopefully this movie can serve as an example for other film makers and distributors. Unfortunately films of this quality rarely make it to theaters. Hollywood films miss the mark because they are too often written by committees. Indie films also miss the mark as they have tended towards violence to get funding. Many European films have of late been emotionally dark to the point of being miserable. Gabriela is part of the great tradition of films about people and can be compared to the humanistic films of François Truffaut. Aside from having these humanistic qualities, Gabriela is an entertaining love story that is worth seeking out.

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33 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Really Good Independent Film

10/10
Author: (movielover@moviegurus.com) from Beverlywood, CA
19 February 2001

This is the best independent film I have seen in about 5 years. It is funny and romantic with a strong story. Not only is the acting top notch, but every detail from the stylized lighting to the music is good. I would recommend this movie to anybody who likes independent films or romances.

I have seen Gomez on Nash Bridges, and I think this movie proves his range playing a tough but sensitive guy. I have seen Lopez in "Mi Vita Loca" and she is a fine actress, and more gorgeous than ever. The two lead characters make a perfect couple, except for.... You have to see it to find out.

If you like good independent movies this should be at the top of your list.

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30 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

I loved this movie!

10/10
Author: Ellen A (ellenaw2@yahoo.com) from San Francisco
15 July 2001

I have been a fan of Jaime Gomez and his work on Nash Bridges for several years, and he absolutely SHINES in this story. Seidy Lopez is beautiful and sensual, Troy Windbush is fantastic as the confused therapist, Lupe Ontoveris <spelling?> is delightful as the grandmother who just wants to "feed" someone (I know so many women like her!). The people are so real, you can't help getting into their feelings. I saw it in San Francisco, and at the end the audience clapped & cheered. Predictable story? Maybe but so what?... what's wrong with giving us what we like to see, what leaves us feeling good? It was funny and heartwarming. Thank you, Vincent Miller, and we will look forward to your next project. Hope you can use Jaime on that one!

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